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Full text of "A method for prayer : with scripture expressions, proper to be used under each head ; with directions for daily communion with God ; showing how to begin, how to spend, and how to close every day with God ; to which is now added A discourse concerning meekness and quietness of spirit"

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.^ 




LIBKAHI ^ 



a. I' 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2006 with funding from 

National Institute for Newman Studies 



http://www.archive.org/details/a587258300henruoft 



I 



METHOD FOR PRAYER, 

WITH 

SCRIPTURE EXPRESSIONS, 

PROPER TO BE USED. UNDER EACH HEAD; 

WITH 

DIRECTIONS 

FOR 

DAILY COMMUNION WITH GOD, 

SHOWING 
HOW TO BEGIN, HOW TO SPEND, 

AND 

HOW TO CLOSE EVERY DAY WITH GOD. 



TO WHICH IS NOW ADDED, 

DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

AND 

QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 

A NEW AMD GENUINE EDITION. 



BY THE LATE 



. ("rev) MATTHEW HENRY, 

o 

AUTHOR or THE COMMUKICANT's COMPANION, A COMMENTARY ON TH« OLD 
AND NEW TESTAMENTS, AND OTHER VALUABLE WORKS. 



113149 

GLASGOW: 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY D. MACKENZIE. 
1834. 



IIBRA!^Y ST ^'^RY'S COLLEGE 



TO THE READER. 



Religion is so mucli the business of our lives, and the wor- 
ship of God so much the business of our religion, that what 
hath a sincere intention, and probable tendency, to promote 
and assist the acts of religious worship, I think cannot be un- 
acceptable to any that heartily wish well to the interest of 
God's kingdom among men. For if we have spiritual senses 
exercised, true devotion, that aspiring flame of pious affection 
to God, as far as in a judgment of charity we discern it in 
others (though in different shapes and dresses, which may seem 
uncouth to one another) cannot but appear beautiful and 
amiable, and, as far as we feel it in our own breasts, cannot 
but be found very pleasant and comfortable. 

Prayer is a principal branch of religious worship, which we 
are moved to by the very light of nature, and obliged to by 
some of its fundamental laws. Pythagoras golden verses be- 
gin with this precept. Whatever men made a god of, they 
prayed to; Deliver me, for thou art my God, Isa. xliv. 17. 
Nay, whatever they prayed to, they made a god of — Deos qui 
rogat ille facit. It is a piece of respect and homage so ex- 
actly consonant to the natural ideas which all men have of 
God, that it is certain, those that live without prayer, live with- 
out God in the world. 

Prayer is the solemn and religious offering up of devout 
acknowledgments and desires to God, or a sincere represen- 
tation of holy affections, with a design to give unto God the 
glory due unto his Name thereby, and to obtain from him pro- 
mised favours, and both through the Mediator. Our English 
word Prayer is too strait, for that properly signifies Petition 
or Request ; whereas humble adorations of God, and thanks- 
givings to him, are as necessary in prayer as any other part 
of it. The Greek word Proseuche, from Euche, is a vow 
directed to God. The Latin word Votum is used for prayer. 
Jonah's mariners, with their sacrifices, made vows ; for prayer 
is to move or oblige ourselves, not to move or oblige God. 
Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom. 7. p. 722. Edit. Colon, calls 
prayer (with an excuse for the boldness of the expression) 
HoMiLiA PROS TON Theon, it is couversiug with God; and 
it is the scope of a long discourse of his there, to show that 
his HO GOSNOTicos, i.e. his Believer (for faith is called know- 
ledge, and p. 719 he makes his companions to be hoi homo- 
loos PEPis TEUCOTES, those that have in like manner be- 
lieved) lives a life of communion with God, and so is praying 



IV TO THE READER. 



always; that he studies by his prayers continually to converse 
with God. Some, saith he, had their stated hours of prayer, 
but he PARA HOLON EUCHATAi TON BioN, prays all his life 
long. The scripture describes prayer to be our drawing 
near to God, lifting up our souls to him, pouring out our 
hearts before him. 

This is the life and soul of prayer; but this soul, in the pre- 
sent state, must have a body; and that body must be such as 
becomes the soul, and is suited and adapted to it. Some 
words there must be, of the mind at least, in which, as in the 
smoke, this incense must ascend ; not that God may under- 
stand us, for our thoughts afar off are known to him, but that 
we may the hotter understand ourselves. 

A golden thread of heart prayer must run through the web 
of the whole Christian life; we must be frequently addressing 
ourselves to God in short and sudden ejaculations, by which 
we must keep up our communion with him in providences and 
common actions, as well as in ordinances and religious ser- 
vices. Thus prayer must be sparsim (a sprinkling of it) in 
every duty, and our eyes must be ever towards the Lord. 

In mental prayer, thoughts are words, and they are the 
first-born of the soul, which are to be consecrated to God. 
But if, when we pray alone, we see cause, for the better fixing 
of our minds, and exciting of our devotions, to clothe our con- 
ceptions with words; if the conceptions be the genuine pro- 
ducts of the new nature, one would think words should not 
be far to seek, Verbaque prcevisam rem non invita sequuntur. 
Nay, if the groanings be such as cannot be uttered, " he that 
searcheth the heart, knows them to be the mind of the Spirit, 
and will accept of them," Rom. viii. 26, 27. " and answer the 
voice of our breathing," Lam. iii. 56. Yet through the infir- 
mity of the flesh, and the aptness of our hearts to wander and 
trifle, it is often necessary that words should go first, and be 
kept in mind for the directing and exciting of devout actions; 
and in order thereunto, the assistance here offered I hope will 
be of some use. 

When we join with others in prayer, who are our mouth to 
God, our minds must attend them, by an intelligent believing 
concurrence with that which is the sense and scope, and sub- 
stance, of what they say, and affections working in us suitable 
thereunto : and this the scripture directs us to signify, by say- 
ing Amen, mentally, if not vocally, at their giving of thanks, 
1 Cor. xiv. 16. And as far as our joining with them will per- 
mit, we may intermix pious ejaculations of our own, with their 
addresses, provided they be pertinent, that not the least frag- 
ment of praying time may be lost. 

But he that is the mouth of others in prayer, whether in 
public or private, and therein useth that freedom of speech, 



TO THE READER. 



that holy liberty of prayer which is allowed us, (and which 
we are sure many good Christians have found by experience 
to be very comfortable and advantageous in this duty) ought 
not only to consult the workings of his own heart, (though 
them principally, as putting most life and spirit into the per- 
formance) but the edification also of those that join with him : 
and both in matter and words should have an eye to that: and 
for service in that case, I principally design this endeavour. 

That bright ornament of the church, the learned Doctor 
WiLKiNS, bishop of Chester, hath left us an excellent per- 
formance, much of the same nature with this, in his discourse 
concerning the gift of prayer; which some may think makes 
this of mine unnecessary: but the multiplying of books of de- 
votion is what few serious Christians will complain of: and as, 
on the one hand, I am sure those that have this poor essay of 
mine will still find great advantage by that; so, on the other 
hand, I think those who have that, may yet find some further 
assistance by this. 

It is desirable that our prayers should be copious and full ; 
our burdens, cares, and wants are many ; so are our sins and 
mercies. The promises are numerous and very rich, our God 
gives liberally, and hath bid us open our mouths wide, and he 
will fill them, will satisfy them with good things. We are not 
straitened in him, why then should we be stinted and strait- 
ened in our own bosoms ? Christ had taught his disciples 
the Lord's prayer, and yet tells them, John xvi. 24. that 
hitherto they had asked nothing, t. e. nothing in comparison 
with what they should ask when the Spirit should be poured 
out, to abide with the church for ever ; and they should see 
greater things than these. Then " ask, and ye shall receive, 
that your joy may be full." We are encouraged to be par- 
ticular in prayer, and in every thing to make our requests 
known to God, as we ought also to be particular in the ador- 
ation of the divine perfections, in the confession of our sins, 
and thankful acknowledgments of God's mercies. 

But since, at the same time, we cannot go over the tenth 
part of the particulars which are fit to be the matter of prayer, 
without making the duty burdensome to the flesh, which is 
weak, even where the spirit is willing, (an extreme which 
ought carefully to be avoided,) and without danger of in- 
trenching upon other religious exercises, it will be requisite 
that what is but briefly touched upon at one time, should be 
enlarged upon at another time ; and herein this store-house 
of materials for prayer may be of use to put us in remem- 
brance of our several errands at the throne of grace, that none 
may be quite forgotten. 

And it is requisite, to the decent performance of the duty, 
that some proper method be observed; that which is said 



VI TO THE HEADER. 



should not only be good, but said in its proper place and 
time, that we offer nothing to the glorious Majesty of heaven 
and earth, which is confused, impertinent, and indigested. 
Care must be taken, then more than ever, that we be not rash 
with our mouth, nor hasty to utter any thing before God ; 
that we say not what comes uppermost, nor use such repeti- 
tions as evidence not the fervency, but the barrenness and 
slightness, of our spirits; but that the matters we are dealing 
with God about, being of such vast importance, we observe 
a decorum in our words, that they be well chosen, well weighed, 
and well placed. 

And as it is good to be methodical in prayer, so it is to be 
sententious. The Lord's prayer is remarkably so ; and David's 
Psalms, and many of St. Paul's prayers, which we have in his 
epistles. We must consider, that the gi*eatest part of those that 
join with us in prayer, will be in danger of losing or mis- 
taking the sense, if the periods be long, and the parenthesis 
many; and in this, as in other things, they that are strong ought 
to bear the infirmities of the weak : Jacob must lead as the 
children and flock can follow. 

Divers heads of prayer may no doubt be added to those 
which I have here put together, and many scripture expressions 
too, under each head (for I have only set down such as first 
occurred to my thoughts) and many other expressions too, 
not in scripture words, which may be very comprehensive and 
emphatical, and apt to excite devotion. And perhaps those 
who covet earnestly this excellent gift, and covet to excel in 
it, may find it of use to them to have such a book as this in- 
terleaved, in which to insert such other heads and expressions 
as they think will be most agreeable to them, and are wanting 
here. And though I have here recommended a good method 
for prayer, and that which has been generally approved, yet I 
am far from thinking we should always tie ourselves to it, that 
may be varied as well as the expression. Thanksgiving may 
very aptly be put sometimes before confession or petitions, 
or our intercessions for others before our petitions for our- 
selves, as in the Lord's prayer. Sometimes one of these parts 
of prayer may be enlarged upon much more than another ; 
or they may be decently interwoven in some other method : 
Ars est celare artem. 

There are those, I doubt not, who, at some tiroes, have 
their hearts so wonderfully elevated and enlarged in prayer 
above themselves at other times; such a fixedness and fiilness 
of thought, such a fervour of pious and devout affections, the 
product of which is such a fluency and variety of pertinent 
and moving expressions, and in such a just and natural method, 
that then to have an eye to such a scheme as this, would be 
a hinderance to them, and would be in danger to cramp and 



TO THE READER. Vll 

straiten them. If the heart be full of its good matter, it may 
make the tongue as the pen of a ready writer. But this is 
a case that rarely happens, and ordinarily there is need of pro- 
posing to ourselves a certain method to go by in prayer, that 
the service may be performed decently and in order; in which 
yet one would avoid that which looks too formal. A man may 
write straight without having his paper ruled. 

Some few Forms of Prayer I have added in the last Chap- 
ter, for the use of those who need such helps, and that know 
not how to do as well or better without them; and therefore 
I have calculated them for families. If any think them too 
long, let them observe that they are divided into many para- 
graphs, and those mostly independent, so that when brevity 
is necessary, some paragraphs may be omitted. 

But, after all, the intention and close application of the 
mind, the lively exercises of Faith and Love, and the outgo- 
ings of holy desire towards God, are so essentially necessary 
to Prayer, that without these in sincerity, the best and most 
proper language is but a lifeless image. If we had the tongue 
of men and angels, and have not the heart of humble serious 
Christians in Prayer, we are but as a sounding brass and a 
tinkling cymbal. It is only the effectual fervent prayer, the 
inwrought inlaid prayer that avails much. Thus therefore we 
ought to approve ourselves to God in the integrity of our 
hearts, whether we pray by, or without a pre-composed 
Form. 

When I had finished the third volume of the Exposition of 
the Bible, which is now in the press ; before I proceed, as I 
intend, in an humble dependence on the divine Providence and 
Grace, to the fourth volume, I was willing to take a little time 
from that work to this poor performance, in hopes it might 
be of some service to the generation of them that seek God, 
that seek the face of the God of Jacob; and if any good Chris- 
tians receive assistance from it in their devotions, I hope they 
will not deny me one request, which is, that they will pray 
for me, that I may obtain mercy of the Lord, to be found 
among the faithful watchmen on Jerusalem's walls, who never 
hold their peace day or night, but give themselves to the ^ord 
and prayer, that at length I may finish my course with joy. 

Matthew Henry, 
Chester, 2Qth March, 1710. 



CONTENTS, 



PAGE. 

Of the first part of Prayer, which is, Address to God, 
Adoration of Him, with suitable Acknowledgments, 
Professions, and Preparatory Requests, 1 

Of the second part of Prayer, which is. Confession of Sin, 
Complaints of ourselves, and humble professions of 
Repentance, 26 

Of the third part of Prayer, which is, Petition and Suppli- 
cation for the good things we stand in need o^ 5S 

Of the fourth part of Prayer, which is. Thanksgiving for 
the mercies we have received from God, and the 
many favours of His we are interested in, and have 
and hope for benefit by, 97 

Of the fifth part of Prayer, which is. Intercession, or 
Address and Supplication to God for others, 136 

Of Addresses to God upon particular occasions, whe- 
ther domestic or public, 163 

Of the conclusion of our Prayers, 196 

A paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer, in Scripture Ex- 
pressions, 202 

Some short forms of Prayer for the use of those who 
may not be able to collect for themselves out of the 
foregoing materials, 226 

Hymns, 276 

DIRECTIONS FOR DAILY COMMUNION WITH GOD. 

How to begin the Day with God, 279 

How to spend the Day with God, 322 

How to close the Day with God, , 365 



A 

METHOD FOR PRAYER, 

WITH 

SCRIPTURE EXPRESSIONS, ^ 

PROPER TO BE USED UNDER EACH HEAD. 



CHAP. I. 

Of the first Part qf PRAYERy which is, Address to God^ 
and adoration ofHiMy with suitable Acknowledgments, 
Professions, arid Preparatory Requests, 

Our spirits being composed into a very re- 
verend serious frame, our thoughts gathered in, 
and all that is within us charged, in the Name 
of the great God, carefully to attend the solemn 
and awful service that lies before us, and to 
keep close to it, we must, with a fixed attention 
and application of mind, and an active lively 
faith, set the Lord before us, see his eye upon 
us, and set ourselves in his special presence, 
presenting ourselves to him as living sacrifices, 
which we desire may be holy and acceptably, 
and a reasonable service a; and then bind these 
sacrifices with cords to the horns of the altar b, 
in such thoughts as these : 

a Uora. xii. I. b Psalm cxvUi. 27. 

1 A 



A METHOD CHAP. !• 

Adoration of God, 



Let US now lift our hearts c, with our eyes and 
hands, unto God in the heavens d. 

Let us stir up ourselves to take hold on God e^ 
to seek his face, and to give him the glory due 
unto his name^^ 

Unto thee, O Lord, do we lift up our souls ^. 

Let us now, with humble boldness, enter into 
the holiest by the blood of Jesus, in the new and 
living way which he hath consecrated for us 
through the vail //. 

Let us now attend upon the Lord without 
distraction i, and let not our hearts be far from 
him when we draw nigh to him with our mouths, 
^nd honour him with our lips k. 

Let us now worship God, who is a Spirit, in 
spirit and in truth : for such the Father seeks to 
worship him /. 

/ Having thus engaged our hearts to approach 
v>nto God m, 

\, We must solemnly address ourselves to that 
injinitelij great and glorious Beings with whom we 
have to do, as those that are possessed with a full 
belief of his presence^ and a holy awe and reverence 
of his Majesty ; which we may do in such ea^pres- 
sions as these : • ^ 

Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty, which 
art, and wast, and art to come n, 

O thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, and 
who art the most High over all the earth o ! 

c Lam. iii. 4-1. rf John xvii. 1. e Isa, Ixiv. 7. yPsal. 
xxvii. 8. xxix. 2. g Psalm xxv.l. h Heb. x. 19, 20. i 1 Cor. 
vii. ^5, k Mat. xv. 8. I John iv. 23, 24. m Jer. xxx. 2i. 
n Kev. iv. 8. o Psalm Ixxxiii. 18. 



€HAP. 1. FOR PRAYER. 

And Address to Him. 



% 



O God, thou art our God, early will we seek 
thee^; our God, and we will praise thee, our 
fathers' God, and we will exalt thee^. v ^ 

- O thou, who art the true God, the living God, 
the one only living and true God, and the ever- 
lasting Kingr. The Lord our God, who is one 
Lord^. 

And we may thus distinguish ourselves from 
the worshippers of false gods. 

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold; 
they are vanity and a lie, the work of men's 
hands ; they that make them are like unto them, 
and so is every one that trusteth in them s. But 
the portion of Jacob is not like unto them, for 
he is the former of all things, and Israel is the 
rod of his inheritance; the Lord of Hosts is his 
name /: God over all, blessed for evermore u. 

Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies 
themselves being judges; for he is the Rock of 
agesv, the Lord Jehovah, with whom is ever- 
lasting strength w; whose name shall endure for 
ever, and his memorial unto all generations .r, 
when the gods, that have not made the heavens 
and the earth, shall perish from off the earth, and 
from under these heavens^, 

2. IVe must reverently adore God, as a Being 
transcendently bright and blessed, self-existent and 
self-sufficient, an irifinite and eternal Spirit^ who ha& 

p Psalm Ixiii. 1. q Exod. xv. 2. r Jer. x. 10. j Dcuf. 
vi. 4. s Psalm cxv. 4. 8. t Jer. x. 15, 16. u Rom. ix. 5. 
V Deut. xxxii. 31. w Isa. xxvi. 4-. x Psalm cxxxv. 13. 

yJer. x. 11. .. . . .. ^ . . 



A METHOD CHAP. U 

Adoration of God, 



all perfections in himself, and give him the glory 
qf his titles and attributes. O in^ 

O Lord our God, thou art very'gi*eat, thou 
art clothed with honour and majesty, thou cov- 
erest thyself with h'ght as with a garment ^, 
and yet as to us makest darkness thy pavilion a; 
for we cannot order our speech by reason of 
darkness b^ 

This is the message which we have heard of 
thee, and we set to our seal that it is true, that 
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all c- 
and that God is love, and they that dwell in 
love, dwell in God, and God in theme?. 

Thou art the Father of light, with whom is no 
variableness or shadow of turning, and from whom 
proceedeth every good and every perfect gift^* 

Thou art the blessed and only Potentate; the 
King of kings, and the Lord of lords, who only 
hast immortality, dwelling in the light which 
no man can approach unto, whom no man hath 
seen or can see^ ' 

We 7nust acknowledge his Being to be unques- 
tionable and past dispute. 

The heavens declare thy glory, O God, and 
the firmament showeth thy handy-work^; and 
by the things that are made, is clearly seen and 
understood thine eternal power and Godhead h : 
So that they are fools without excuse who say 
there is no God i; for verily there is a reward 

z Psalm civ. 1,2. a Psalm xviii. 11. b Job xscxvii. 19. 
e, 1 John i. 5.— rf iv. 16, e James i. 17. /Tim. vi. 15, 

16. g Psalm xix. 1. h Rom. i. 19. i. Psalm xiv. 1. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. 9 

*»%%♦*♦********* *^*************^ *********** ♦*•*♦*%*%*%***%*%**%%*%%%**.%%% 

And Address to Him. 

for the righteous, verily there is a God that 
judgeth in the earth, and in heaven too i. 

We therefore come to thee, believing that 
thou art, and that thou art the powerful and 
bountiful rewarder of them that diligently seek 
thee k. 

Yet we mtist own his nature to be incompre- 
hensible^ 1 1 rjo vod,^ <* 

We cannot by searching find out God, we 
cannot find out the Almighty unto perf5ection /. 

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, 
and his greatness is unsearchable m, trorft 

Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord ? 
Who can show forth all his praise n ? 
T-'And his perfections to be matchless and without 
compare. 

Who is a God like unto thee, glorious in holi* 
ness, fearful in praises, doing wonders o ? 

Who in the heavens can be compared unto the 
Lord ? Who among the sons of the mighty can 
be likened unto the Lord? O Lord God of 
Hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee, or 
to thy faithfulness round about thee;;. 

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, 
O Lord, neither are there any works like unto 
thy works; for thou art great, and doest wondrous 
things; thou art God alone q. 

There is not any creature that has an arm 
Kke God, or can thunder with a voice like him r. 



i Psalm Iviii. 11. 


k Heb. xi. 6. / Job xi. 7. m Psalrtf 


cxlv. 3.— n cvi. 2. 


Exod. XV. 11. fl Psalm Ixxxix. 6^ 8. 


— y Ixxxvi. 8, 10. 


rJobxl.9. 



6 A METHOD CHAP. r. 

Adoration of God, 



k%* ««%%«%«%« 



— And that he is infinitely above us, and all other 
beings. «^« ^^iiTKO 

J^'Thou art God and not man; hast not eyes of 
flesh, nor seest thou as man seeth j : thy days are 
not as the days of man, nor thy years as man's 
days 5. 

As heaven is high above the earth, so are thy 
thoughts above our thoughts, and thy ways above 
bur ways t. 

All nations before thee are as a drop of the 
bucket, or the small dust of the balance, and 
thou takest up the isles as a very little thing ; 
they are as nothing, and are counted to thee less 
than nothing, and vanity u. 

Particularly in our adorations we must achnow- 
ledge, (1.) that he is an eternal God, immutable^ 
mthout beginning of days or end of life^ or change 
of time. id^ 

Thou art the King eternal, immortal, in visible t?. 

Before the mountains were brought forth, or 
ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, 
from everlasting to everlasting thou art God w ; 
the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever ^./i^ oj 

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the 
earth, and the heavens are the work of thy 
hands; they shall perish, but thou shalt endure; 
yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment, 
as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they 
shall be changed ; but thou art the same, and thy 
years shall have no end v. 

j Hos. xi. 9. s Job x. 4, 5. / lea. Iv. 9— m xl. 15, 17. 
i; 1 Tim. i. 17. to Psalm xc. 2. x Hcb. xiii. 8. v Psal. cii. 
25, 26, 27. ^ 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. 

And Address to Him. 



Thou are God, and changest not ; therefore is 
it that we are not consumed z. > 

Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord our 
God, our holy One a? The everlasting God, 
even the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the 
earth, who faintest not, neither art weary ; there 
is no searching out of thine understanding b. 
a? (2.) That he is present in all places, and there 
is no place in which he is included, or out of which 
he is excluded. 

Thou art a God at hand, and a God afar off; 
none can hide himself in secret places that thou 
canst not see him, for thou fillest heaven and 
earth c. 

: Thou art not far from every one of us d. 
( We cannot go any whither from thy presence^ 
or flee from thy Spirit. If we ascend into heaven, 
thou art there; if we make our bed in hell, in 
the depths of the earth, behold thou art there; 
if we take the wings of the morning, and dwell 
in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall 
thy hand lead us, and thy right hand shall hold 
us e, that we cannot outrun thee. 

(c5.) 2'hat he hath a perfect knowledge of all 
persons and things, and sees them all, even that 
which is most secret, at one clear, certain, and un^ 



erring view. 



AW things are naked and open before the eyes 
of him with whom we have to do ; even the 
thoughts and intents of the hearty -^ '^ -^o^*! U 



■5 



«Mal. iii. 6. aHab. i. 12. ^ Isa. xl. 28. c Jei*/ 

xxiii. 23, 24. d Acts xvii. 27. e Ps. cxxxix. 7, 8, 9, 10. 
/Heb. iv. 12, 13. 



8 A METHOD CHAP, r^ 

Adoration of God, 



t»^»%»%»%»»v%^%»%»%%^»%»»»%<^^^%<^%< 



Thine eyes are in every place, beholding the 
evil and the good^; they run to and fro through 
the earth, that thou mayst show thyself strong 
on the behalf of those whose hearts are upright 
with thee h. 

Thou search est the heart, and triest the reins, 
that thou mayest give to every man according 
to his ways, and according to the fruit of his 
doings i. 

O God, thou hast searched us, and known us, 
thou knowest our down-sitting and our up-rising, 
and understandest our thoughts afar off: thou 
compassest our path and our lying-down, and 
art acquainted with all our ways : there is not 
a word in our tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou 
knowest it altogether. Such knowledge is too 
wonderful for us, it is high, we cannot attain 

unto itA?ti l»*W* f'K) •>/j;!fry// . j ilj i 

, Darkness and light are both alike to thee. 

(4.) That his wisdom is unsearchable, and the 
counsels and designs of it cannot be fathomed. 

Thine understanding, O Lord, is infinite; for 
thou tellest the number of the stars, and callest 
them all by their names /. 

Thou art wonderful in counsel, and excellent 
in workings. Wise in heart, and mighty in- 
strength. . :Vvx i»m'r\ ^ 

O Lord, how manifold are thy worksj in 



g Prov. XV. 3. h2 Chrop. xvi. 9. i Jer. xvii. 10.. 

Ic esalm cxxxix. 1, 2, 3, 4. 6. 12.—/ cxlvii. 4, 5. m Isa. 

xxvHi. 29. 



CHAP. r. FOR prayi:r. 



And Address to Hiro. 



-wisdom hast thou made them all n; all accord- 
ing to the counsel of thine own will o. 

the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of 
God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, and 
his ways past finding out p. 

(5.) That his sovereignty is incontestible, and 
he is the owner and absolute Lord of all. 

The heaven, even the heavens, are thine, and 
all the hosts of them. The earth is thine, and 
the fulness thereof; the world, and they that 
dwell therein q. In thy hand are the deep places 
of the earth, and the strength of the hills is thine 
also: the sea is thine, for thou madest it, and 
thy hands formed the dry land r : all the beasts 
of the forest are thine, and the cattle upon a thou- 
sand hillsj; thou art therefore a great God, and 
a great King, above all gods. 

In thy hand is the soul of every living thing, 
and the bre^h of all mankind s. 

Thy dominion is an everlasting dominion, and 
thy kingdom is from generation to generation ; 
thou dost according to thy wiil in the armies of 
heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, 
and none can stay thy hand, or say unto thee, 
What doest thou (? 

(6.) lyiat his power is irresistible, and the oper» 
alions of it canjiot be controlled. 

We know, O God, that thou canst do every 
thing, and that no thought can be withholden 

7? Psalm civ. 24-. o Eph. i. 1 1. p Rom. xi. 33. q Pj'al. 
cxv. 16. xxiv. 1 — r xcv. 3, 4, 5— j I. 10. s Job xii. 10. 

/ Dan. iv. 34, 35. 

1 B 



10 A METHOD CHAP. I. 

Adoration of God, 

from thee u; power belongs to theev; and with 
thee nothing is impossible w. 
' All power is thine, both in heaven and earth j;. 

Thou killest and thou makest alive, thou 
woundest and thou healest, neither is there any 
that can deliver out of thy hand z/. 

What thou hast promised thou art able also to 
perform z. 

(7.) That he is a God of unspotted purity and 
perfect rectitude. 

Thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the 
praises of Israel a-. Holy and reverend is thy 
name b; and we give thanks at the remembrance 
of thy holiness c. 

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold iniqui- 
,ty di neither shall evil dwell \vith thee e. 

Thou art the Rock, thy work is perfect, and all 
.thy ways are truth and judgment ; a God of truth, 
and in whom there is no iniquity/. Thou art our 
Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in thee «*. 

Thou art holy in all thy works /?, and holiness 
becomes thy house, O Lord, for ever i. 
, (8.) That he is just in the administration of his 
government ; and never did, nor never will do^ 
wrong to any of his creatures. 

Righteous art thou, O God, when we plead 
with thee k; and wilt be justified when thou speak- 
est, and clear when thou judgest /. 

u Job xlii. 2. V Psalm Ixii. 11. to Luke i. 37. x Mat. 
xxviii. 18. y Deut. xxxli. 39. z Rom. iv. 21. a Psalm 
xxii. 3.-— /> cxi. 9.— c XXX. 4. rf Hab. i. 13. e Psalm v. 4. 

yDeut. xxxii. 4-. ^ Psalm xcii. 15 h cxiv. 17 i xciii. 5. 

k Jer. xii. 1. / Psalm li. 4. 



^'^' 



CHAP. I- 



FOR PRAYER. tl 



, ^^**.fc* %/».♦•♦*%*%»*»%•♦*♦*♦*** «^ ****** *********** 

And Address to Hira. 



Far be it from God that he should do wicked- 
ness, and from the Almighty that he should 
commit iniquity: for the work of a man shall he 
render unto him w. ii:i?u m tit 

Thy righteousness is as the great mountains, 
even then when thy judgments are a great deep n : 
And though clouds and darkness are round about 
thee, yet judgment and justice are the habita- 
tion of thy throne o. 

(9.) That his truth is invariable, and the trea- 
sures of his goodness inej:haustible. 

Thou art good, and thy mercy endureth for 
ever p. Thy loving kindness is great towards 
us q, and thy truth endureth to all generations r. 
Thou hast proclaimed thy name, The Lord, 
the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to 
anger, abundant in goodness and truth: keeping 
mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, trans- 
gression, and sin^'. And this name of thine is our 
strong tower s. 

Thou art good, and doest good t; good to all, 
and thy tender mercy is over all thy works. 
But truly God is in a special manner good to Is- 
rael, even to them that are of a clean heart u. 

O that thou wouldst cause thy goodness to 
pass before us v; that we may taste and see that 
the Lord is good; and his loving kindness may 
be always before our eyes w. 

Lastly, That "when we have said all tve can of 

m Job xxxiv. 10, 11. n Psalm xxxvi. 6 — o xcvii. 2. — 

p cxxxvi. 1. — q cxvii. 2. — r c. 5. j Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7, 

s Prov. xviii. 10. t Psalm cxix. 68 u cxlv. 9. Ixxiii. 1^ 

V Exod. xxxiii. 19. tc P«alm xxxiv. 8. xxvi. 3. 



If A METHOD CHAP. I. 

Adoration of God, 

the glorious perfections of the Divine nature^ we 
fall infinitely short of the merit of the subject, 

Lo, these are but parts of his ways : and how 
little a portion is heard of God ? But the thunder 
of his power who can understand x. 

Touching the Alnnighty, we cannot find him 
out : he is excellent in power and in judgment, 
and in plenty of justice ^; he is exalted far above 
all blessing and praise 7. 

3. We must give to God the praise of that splen- 
dour and glory wherein he is pleased to manifest 
himself in the upper world. 

Thou hast prepared thy throne in the heavens^; 
and it is a throne of glory, high and lifted up ; 
and before thee the seraphims cover their faces a» 
And it is in compassion to us that thou bold- 
est back the face of that throne, and spreadest a 
cloud upon it h. 

Thou makest thine angels spirits, and thy 
ministers a flame of fire c. Thousand thousands 
of them minister unto thee, and ten thousand 
times ten thousand stand before thee, to do thy 
pleasure d. They excel in strength, and hearken 
to the voice of thy word e. And we are come 
by faith and hope, and holy love, into a spiritual 
communion with that innumerable company of 
angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, 
even to the general assembly and church of the 
first-born, in the heavenly Jerusalem/. 

X Job xxvi. H.—y xxxvii. 23. j Neh. ix. 5. z Psalm 
ciii. 19. a Isa. vi. 1, 2. b Job xxvi. 9. c Pdalm civ. 4. 
d Dan. vii. 10. $ Psalm ciii. 20. /Hcb. xii. 22, 23. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. IS 

And Address to Him. 

4. We must give glory to him as the Creator of 
the world, and the great Protector, Benefactor, 
and Ruler of the whole creation. 

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive blessing, 
and honour, and glory, and power; for thou hast 
created all things, and for thy pleasure, and for 
thy praise, they are and were created g. 

We worship him that made the heaven and 
the earth, the sea and the fountains of waters h; 
who spake and it was done, who commanded, 
and it stood fast i; who said. Let there be light, 
and there was light; let there be a firmament, 
and he made the firmament; and he made all 
very good k; and they continue this day accord- 
ing to his ordinance; for all are his servants /. 

The day is thine, the night also is thine; thou 
hast prepared the light and the sun : Thou hast 
set all the borders of the earth, thou hast made 
the summer and the winter m. 

Thou upholdest all things by the word of thy 
power n, and by thee all things consist o. 

The earth is full of thy riches, so is the great 
and wide sea also p. The eyes of all wait upon 
thee, and thou givest them their meat in due 
season: Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest 
the desires of every living thing q. Thou pre- 
servest man and beast r, and givest food to all 
flesh c. 

g Rev. iv. 11. — h xiv. 7. i Psalm xxxiii. 9. Jc Gen. 1. 3. 
6, 7. / Psalm cxix. 91.— m Ixxiv. 16, 17- n Heb. i. 3. 

o Col. i. 17. p Psalm civ. 24, 25.--y cxlv. 15, 16.—. 

r Psalm xxxvi.6 — c cxxxvi. 25. 



14 A METHOD CHAP. U 

Adoration of God, 



k^% %V««'Vfc ****** 



Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast 
made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all 
their host; the earth, and all things that are 
therein : the sea, and all that is therein ; and thou 
preservest them all; and the host of heaven 
worshippeth theej, whose kingdom ruleth over 
all s. ' * J^^ - 'i^* ^f^^ 

• A sparrow falls not to the ground without 
thee L 

Thou madest man at first of the dust of the 
ground, and breathedst into him the breath of 
life, and so he became a living soul u. 

And thou hast made of one blood all nations 
of men for to dwell on the face of all the earth, 
and hast determined the times before appointed, 
the bounds of their habitation v. 

Thou art the most High, who ruleth in the 
kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever 
thou wilt w: for from thee every man's judg- 
ment proceeds ^. 

Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigns^, 
and doth all things according to the counsel of 
his own will, to the praise of his own glory z, 

5, We must give honour to the three Persons, in 
the Godhead distinctly y to the Father y the San, and 
the Holy Ghost, that great and sacred Name into 
which we were baptized, and in which we assemble 
for religious worship^ in communion with the uni- 
versal church. 

j Nell. ix. 6. s Ps. ciii. 19. / Mat. x. 29. u Gen. ii. 7. 
V Acts xvii. 26. to Dan. iv. 25. x Prov. xxix. 26. y Rev. 
ix. 6. z Eph. i. i 1, 12. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. 15 

And Address to Him. 

We pay our homage to three that bear record 
in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy 
Ghost ; for these three are one a. 

We adore thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth b; and the eternal Word, who was in the 
beginning with God, and was God; by whom 
all things were made, and without whom was 
not any thing made that was made; and who, in 
the fulness of time, was made flesh, and dwelt 
among us, and showed his glory, the glory as of 
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and 
truth c. 

And since it is the will of God that all men 
should honour the Son as they honour the Fa- 
ther d^ we adore him as the brightness of his 
Father's glory, and the express image of his 
person; herein joining with the angels of God, 
who are all bid to worship him e. 

We pay our homage to the exalted Redeemer, 
who is the faithful Witness, the first begotten 
from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the 
earth/, confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, to 
the glory of God the Father^. 

We also worship the Holy Ghost, the Com- 
forter, whom the Son hath sent from the Father, 
even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from 
the Father h, and who is sent to teach us all 
things, and to bring all things to our remem- 
rance /; who indited the scriptures, holy men 

a 1 John V. 7. b Mat. xi. 25. c John i. 1, 2, 3. 14. 

d John V. 23. e Heb. i, 3. 6. / Rev. i. 5. g Phil. ii. ll.t 
h John XV. 26. i John xiv. 26. 



16 A METHOD CHAP. I. 

Adoration of God, 

of God writing them as they were moved by the 
Holy Ghost A:. 

6. We must aclcno^xledge our dependence upon 
God, and our obligations to him, as our Creator^ 
Preserver, and Benefactor, 

Thou, O God, madest us, and not we our- 
selves; and therefore we are not our own, but 
thine; thy people, and the sheep of thy pasture /; 
let us therefore worship, and fall down, and kneel 
before the Lord our Maker m. 

Thou, Lord, art the former of our bodies w, 
and they are fearfully and wonderfully made, 
and curiously wrought. Thine eye did see our 
substance yet being imperfect; and in thy book 
all our members were written, which in continu- 
ance were fashioned, when as yet there was none 
of them 0. 

Thou hast clothed us with skin and flesh, thou 
hast fenced us with bones and sinews; thou hast 
granted us life and favour, and thy visitation 
preserves our spirit j). 

Thou art the Father of our spirits q, for thou 
formedst the spirit of man within him r, and 
madest us these souls J. The Spirit of God hath 
made us, and the breath of the Almighty hath 
given us life s. Thou puttest wisdom in the 
inward part, and giveth understanding to the 
heart. 

h 2 Pet. i. 21. / Psal. c. 3 — m xcv. 6.— n c. 3. o P^al. 
cxxxix. U. 16. p Job x. 11, 12. q Heb. xii. 9. r Zech. 
xii. 1. j Jer. xxxviii. 16. s Job xxxiii. 4. — / xxxviii. 36. 



CHAP. r. FOR PRAYER. If 

And Address to Hira. 

Thou art God our Maker, and teachest us 
more than the beasts of the earth, and makest us 
wiser than the fowls of heaven u. 

We are the clay, and thou our potter; we are 
the work of thy hand v. 

Thou art he that took us out of the womb, and 
didst keep us in safety when we were on our 
mother's breasts w; we have been cast upon thee 
from the womb, and held up by thee. Thou art 
our God from our mother's bowels, and there- 
fore our praise shall be continually of thee ^. 

In thee, O God, we live, and move, and have 
our being ; for we are thine offspring i/. 

In thy hand our breath is, and thine are all 
our ways z; for the way of man is not in himself, 
neither is it in man that walketh to direct his 
steps a : but our times are in thy hand b. 

Thou art the God that hath fed us all our life 

long until this day, and redeemed us from all 
evil c. 

It is of thy mercies that we are not consumed, 
even because thy compassions fail not; they are 
new every morning: great is thy faithfulness d. 

If thou take away our breath, we die, and re- 
turn to the dust out of which we were taken e. 

Who is he that saith, and itcometh to pass, 
if thou commandest it not? Out of thy mouth, 
O most High, evil and good proceedeth not/. 

u Job XXXV. 10, II. V Isa. Ixlv. 8. to Psal. xxii. 9, 10. 
— X Ixxi. 6. V Acts xvii. 28. z Djn. v. 23. a Jer. x. 23. 
6 Psal. xxxi. 15, c Gen. xlviii. 15, 16. d Lam. iii. 22, 
23. tf Psalm civ. 29. / Lam. iii. 37, :J8. 

1 c 



18 A METHOD CWAP. I. 

Adoration of God, 

'" 7« ^^"^e 'f^ust avouch this God to he our God, and 
o*wn our relation to him, his dominion over us, and 
propriety in us. 

V Our souls have said unto the Lord, thou art 
our God, though our goodness extendeth not 
unto thee^; neither, if we are righteous, art thou 
the better ^. ;:;t^ ^rir! 

Thou art our king, O God; other lords be- 
sides thee have had dominion over us f, but from 
henceforth by thee only will we make mention 
of thy name k, 

- We avouch the Lord this day to be our God, 
to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes and 
commandments, and his judgments, and to hear- 
ken to his voice, and give ourselves unto him 
to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised, 
that we may be a holy people unto the Lord our 
God /; and may be unto him for a name, and for 
a praise, and for a glory m, 

O Lord, truly we are thy servants ; we are 
thy servants born in thy house, and thou hast 
loosed our bonds n. We are bought with a price, 
and therefore we are not our own o, but yield 
ourselves unto the Lord, and join ourselves unto 
him in an everlasting covenant jp that shall never 
be forgotten q. 

' We are thine, save us, for we seek thy pre- 
cepts r: it is thine own. Lord, that we give thee, 
and that which cometh of thine hand s, 

g Psal. xvi. 2. h Job xxxv. 7. i Psal. xliv. 4. k ha, 
xxvi. ]3. / Deut. xxvi. 17, 18, 19. m Jer. xiii. 11. 

n Psalm cxvi. 16. o 1 Cor. vi. 19. p 2 Chron. xxx. ». 
g Jer. 1. 5. r Psalm cxix. 94-. s 1 Chron. xxix. 16. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. 19 

And Address to Him. 

8. We must acknowledge it an unspeakable Ja- 
vouTy and an inestimable privilege, that we are not 
only admitted, but invited and encouraged, to draw 
nigh to God in prayer. 

Thou hast commanded us to pray always with 
all prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, 
and to watch thereunto with all perseverance 
and supplication for all saints j*. To continue 
in prayer // and in every thing, by prayer and 
supplication, to make our requests known to 
God u. 

Thou hast directed us to ask, and seek, and 
knock; and hast promised that we shall receive, 
we shall find, and it shall be opened to us v. 

Thou hast appointed us a great High Priest, in 
whose name we may come boldly to the throne 
of grace, that we may find mercy and grace to 
help in time of need w* 

Thou hast assured us, that while the sacrifice 
of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, 
the prayer of the upright is his delight x; and 
that he that offers praise glorifies thee^, and the 
sacrifice of thanksgiving shall please the Lord 
better than that of an ox or bullock that has 
horns and hoofs z» 

Thou art he that heareth prayer, and therefore 
unto thee shall all flesh come a. 

Thou sayest, Seek ye ray face ; and our hearts 
answer. Thy face. Lord, will we seek b. For 

j Eph. vi. 18. i Col. iv. 2. u Phil. iv. 6. v Matt. vii. 7. 
w Heb. iv. 16. x Prov. xv. 8. y Psalm 1. 23.-2 Ixix. 31. 
a Psalm Ixv. 2. xxvii. 8. h Isa. viii. 19. 



ftO A METHOD CUAP, i. 

Adoration of God, 

should not a people seek unto their God? Whi- 
ther shall we go but to thee ? Thou hast the 
words of eternal life c. 

9. We must express the sense we have of our 
own meanness and unwortkiness to draw near to 
Godf and speak to him. 

But will God in very deed dwell with man 
upon earth d, that God whom the heaven of hea- 
vens cannot contain? with man that is a worm, 
and the son of man that is a worm e? 

Who are we, O Lord God, and what is our 
father's house, that thou hast brought us hither- 
to, to present ourselves before the Lord, that we 
have through Christ an access by one Spirit un- 
to the Father/; and yet, as if this had been a 
small thing in thy sight, thou hast spoken con- 
cerning thy servants for a great while to come : 
and is this the manner of men, O Lord God g. 

What is man that thou art thus mindful of him ; 
and the son of man that thou visitest him, and 
doth thus magnify him //.^ 

O let not the Lord be angry, if we, that are 
but dust and ashes, take upon us to speak unto 
the Lord of glory L 

We are not worthy of the least of all the mer- 
cies, and of all the truth which thou hast showed 
unto thy servants k; nor is it meet to take the 
children's bread and cast it to such as we are; 

c John vi. 68. d 2 Cbron. vi. 18. e Job xxv. 6. y Eph. 
ih 18. g 2 Sam. vii. 18, 19. h Psai. viii. 4. i Gen. xviii. 
27. 30 — k Gen. xxxii. 10. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. 21 

And Address to Him. 

yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from 
their master's table /; and thou art rich in inercy 
to all that call upon thee m. 

10. We must humhly profess the desire of our 
hearts toward Gody as ourjelicity and jportioriy and 
thejountain of life and all good to us. 

Whom have we in heaven but thee; and there 
is none upon earth that we desire besides thee, 
or in comparison of thee : when our flesh and 
our heart fail, be thou the strength of our heart, 
and our portion for ever n ; the portion of our in- 
heritance in the other world, and of our cup in 
this; and then we will say, that the lines are fal- 
ling to us in pleasant places, and that we have a 
goodly heritage o. 

The desire of our souls is to thy name, and 
to the remembrance of thee. With our souls 
have we desired thee in the night; and with our 
spirits within us will we seek thee early j9. 

As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, 
so panteth our soul after thee, O God; our soul 
thirsteth for God, for the living God, who will 
command his loving-kindness in the day-time, 
and in the night his song shall be with us^ and 
our prayer to the God of our life q. . * n 

that we may come hungering and thirsting 
after righteousness r; for thou fillest the hungry 
with good things, but the rich thou sendest 
empty away s* 

1 Mat. XT. 26, 27. m Rom. x. 12. n Psalm Ixxiii. 25, 
26 — o xvi. 5, 6. p Isa. xxvi. 8, 9. q Psalm xlii. 1, 2. 8. 
r Mat. V. 6. s Luke i. 53. 



2^ A METHOD CHAP. I. 

Adoration of God, 

O that our souls may thirst for thee, and our 
flesh long for thee in a dry and thirsty land, 
where no water is, that we may see thy power 
and thy glory, as we have seen thee in thy sanc- 
tuary. Thy loving-kindness is better than lifej 
our souls shall be satisfied with that as with 
marrow and fatness, and then our mouths shall 
praise thee with joyful lips j. 

11. We must likewise profess our believing hope 
and confidence in God, and his all-stifficienct/; in 
his power^ providence, and promise. 

In thee, O God, do we put our trust, let us 
never be ashamed t; yea, let none that wait on 
thee be ashamed u. 

Truly our souls wait upon God; from him 
Cometh our salvation : He only is our Rock and 
our salvation ; in him is our glory, our strength, 
and our refuge, and from him is our expecta- 
tion v.- 

When refuge fails us, and none cares for our 
souls, we cry unto thee, O Lord ; thou art our re- 
fuge, and our portion in the land of the living ttJ. 

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, 
but we will remember the name of the Lord our 
God .r. We will trust in thy mercy, O God, 
for ever and ever, and will wait on thy name, for 
it is good before thy saints i/. 

We have hoped in thy word, O remember thy 
word unto thy servants, upon which thou hast 
caused us to hope z. 

j Psalm Ixiii. 1, 2, 3. 5 — / xxxf. 1. — u xxv. 3. — v Ixii. 1,2. 
5, 6, 7. — ix) cxlii. 4, 5. — x xx. 7.~y lii. 8, 9. — z cxix. 49. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. ^3 

And Address to Him. 

1 2. We must entreat God's favourable accept- 
ance of us and our poor performances. 

There be many that say, Who will show us 
any good ? But this we say, Lord, lift up the 
light of thy countenance upon us ; and that shall 
put gladness into our hearts, more than they 
have whose corn and wine increaseth^*. 

We entreat thy favour with our whole heart «, 
for in this we labour, that whether present or ab- 
sent, we may be accepted of the Lord b. 

Hear our prayer, O Lord, give ear to our sup- 
plications; in thy faithfulness answer us c. And 
be nigh unto us in all that which we call upon 
thee for d; for thou never saidst to the seed of 
Jacob, seek ye me in vain e. 

Thou that hearest the young ravens which 
cry^ be not silent to us, lest if thou be silent to 
us, we be like them that go down to the pit g. 

Let our prayer be set forth before thee as in- 
cense, and the lifting up of our hands be accep- 
table in thy sight as the evening sacrifice Ju 

13. We must beg for the powerful assistance 
and influence of the blessed Spirit of grace in our 
prayers. 

Lord, we know not what to pray for as we 
ought, but let thy Spirit help our infirmities, and 
make intercession for us i, 

O pour upon us the Spirit of grace and sup- 
plication k; the Spirit of adoption, teaching us 

;' Psalra iv. 6, 7 — a cxix. 58. h 2 Cor. v. 9. c Psalm 
cxiiii. 1. d Deut. iv. 7. e Isa. xlv. 19. y Pi^alm cxivii. 9. 
g Ps. xxviii. 1 — h cxli. 2. i Rom. viii. 26. k Zech. xii. 10. 



24 A METHOD CHAP. I. 

Adoration of God, 

to cry, Abba, Father /; that we may find in our 
hearts to pray this prayer m : 

O send out thy light and thy truth, let them 
lead us, let them guide us to thy holy hill and 
thy tabernacles; to God, our exceeding joy n. 

Lord, open thou our lips, and our mouth 
shall show forth thy praise o. 

14. fVe must make the glory of God our highest 
end in all our prayers* 

This is that which thou, O Lord, hast said, that 
thou wilt be sanctified in them that come nigh 
unto thee, and before all the people thou wilt be 
glorified jp; we therefore worship before thee, O 
Lord, that we may glorify thy name q; and there- 
fore we call upon thee, that thou mayest deliver 
us, and we may glorify thee r. 

For of thee, and through thee, and to thee, are 
all things J. 

15. We must profess our entire reliance on the 
Lord Jesus Christ alone for acceptance with God, 
and come in his name* 

We do not present our supplication before 
thee for our righteousness s; for we are before 
thee in our trespasses, and cannot stand before 
thee because of them /; but we make mention 
of Christ's righteousness, even of his only w, who 
is the Lord our righteousness v* 

We know that even spiritual sacrifices are ac- 
ceptable to God only through Christ Jesus w; 

1 Rom. viii. 15. — m 2 Sam. vii. 27. n Ps. xliii. 3, 4.— o 1?. 
15. p Lev. X. 13, q Psalm Ixxxvi. 9. — r 1. 15. J Rom. xi. 
36. s Dan. ix. 18. / Ezra ix. 15. u Psalm ixxi. 16. 
V Jer. xxiii. 6. w 1 Pet. ii. 5. 



CHAP. I. FOR PRAYER. S5 

And Address to HIra. 

nor can we hope to receive any thing but what 
we ask of thee in his naraeo:, and therefore 
make us accepted in the Beloved^, that other 
Angel, who puts much incense to the prayers of 
saints, and offers them up upon the golden altar 
before the throne z. 

We come in the name of the great High Priest, 
who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son 
of God, who was touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities, and is therefore able to save to the 
uttermost all those that come to God by him a^ 
because he ever lives, making intercession b. 

Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon 
the face of thine Anointed c, in whom thou hast, 
by a voice from heaven, declared thyself to be 
well-pleased: Lord, be well-pleased with us in 
him d. 

X John x?i. 23. y Eph. i. 6. x Rev. viii. 3. a Heb. i?. 
U — b vii. 25. c Psalm Ixxxiv. 9. d Matt. Hi. 17. 



26 A METHOD CHAP. Ff. 

Confession of Sin. 



^ CHAP. II. 

Of the Second Part of PRAYERy which is, Confes- 
sion of Sin^ complaints of ourselves, and humhle 
professions of Repentance . 

Having given glory to God, which is his due, 
we must next take shame to ourselves, vi^hich is 
our due, and humble ourselves before him in the 
sense of our own sinfulness and vileness ; and 
herein also we must give glory to him, as our 
Judge, by whom we deserve to be condemned, 
and yet hope, through Christ, to be acquitted and 
absolved e. 

In this part of our work, 

1. We must acknowledge the great reason we 
have to lie very low before God, and to be ashamed 
of ourselves when we come into his presence, and 
to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves 
both odious to his holijiess, and obnoxious to his 
justice, 

O our God ! we are ashamed, and blush to 
lift up our faces before thee, our God; for our 
iniquities are increased over our head, and our 
trespass is grown up unto the heavens/. 

To us belong shame and confusion of face, be- 
cause we have sinned against theeg", 

e Joshua vil. 19. y Ezra ix. 6. g Dan. ix. 8. 



CHAP. ri. FOR PRAYER. 

Confession for sin. 



Behold, we are vile, what shall we answer 
thee^? We will lay our hand upon our mouth, 
and put our mouth in the dust, if so be there 
may be hope f, crying, with the convicted leper 
under the law, Unclean, unclean k. 

Thou puttest no trust in thy saints, and the 
heavens are not clean in thy sight: how much 
more abominable and filthy is man, who drink- 
eth iniquity like water/. 

When our eyes have seen the King, the Lord 
of Hosts, we have reason to cry out, Woe unto 
us, for we are undone w. 

Dominion and fear are with thee, thou mak- 
est peace in thy high places: there is not any 
number of thine armies, and upon whom doth 
not thy light arise? How then can man be juf- 
tified with God, or how can he be clean that is 
born of a woman n. 

Thou, even thou art to be feared, and who 
may stand in thy sight when once thou art an- 
gry o? Even thou, our God, art a consuming fire/7, 
and who knows the power of thine anger q ? 

If we justify ourselves, our own mouths shall 
condemn us; if we say we are perfect, that also 
shall prove us perverse; for if thou contendest 
with us, we are not able to answer thee for one 
of a thousand r. 

If we knew nothing by ourselves, yet were xve 
not thereby justified ; for he that judgeth us 

h Job xl. 4. i Lam. iii. 2&. h Lev. xiii. 45. / Job xv, 
15, 16. m Isa. vi. 5. fi Job xxv. 2, 3, 4. o Psal. lxxvi.7. 
;? Heb. xiu 29. y Psalm xc. 11. r Job Ix. 3. 20. 



28 A METHOD CHAP. IT. 

Confession of Sin. 

is the Lord 5, who is greater than our hearts, 
and knows all things t. But we ourselves know 
that we have sinned, Father, against heaven and 
before thee, and are no more worthy to be called 
thy children u. 

' 2. We must take hold of the great encourage- 
ment God hath given us to humble ourselves before 
him with sorrow and shame, and to con/ess our 
sins. 

If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O 
Lord, who should stand ! But there is forgive- 
ness with thee that thou mayest be feared; with 
thee there is mercy, yea, with our God there is 
plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel 
from all his iniquities v. 

Thy sacrifices, O God, are a broken spirit ; 
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt 
not despise w: nay, though thou art the high 
and lofty One that inhabitest eternity, whose 
name is holy a:; though the heaven be thy 
throne, and the earth thy footstool ^, yet to this 
man wilt thou look, that is poor and humble, of 
a broken and a contrite spirit, and that trembleth 
at thy word, to revive the spirit of the humble, 
and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 

Thou hast graciously assured us, that though they 
that cover their sins shall not prosper, yet those 
that confess and forsake them shall find mercy z. 
And when a poor penitent said, I will confess 

s 1 Cor. iv. 4. i 1 John iii.20. u Luke xv. 18, 21. v Psal. 
cxxx. 3, 4. 7, 8. — to li. 17. x lea. Ivii. 15. — y Ixvi. 1, 2. 

» ProY. xxviii. 13. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 29 

Confession of Sin. 

my transgression unto the Lord, thou forgavest 
the iniquity of his sin : and for this shall every 
one that is godly, in like manner, pray unto thee 
in a time when thou mayest be found a. 

We know that if we say we have no sin, we 
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us ; 
but thou hast said, that if we confess our sins, 
thou art faithful and just to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness h, 

3. We must therefore confess and bewail our 
original corruption in the first place, that we were 
the children of apostate and rebellious parents, and 
the nature of man is depraved, and wretchedly de- 
generated Jrom its primitive purity and rectitude, 
and our nature is so. 

Lord, thou madest man upright, but they have 
sought out many inventions c; and being in hon- 
our did not understand, and therefore abode not, 
but became like the beasts that perish d. 

By one man sin entered into the world, and 
death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, 
for that all have sinned: by that one man's dis- 
obedience many were made sinners, and we 
among the rest e. 

We are a seed of evil-doers^) our father was 
an Amorite, and our mother a Hittite^, and we 
ourselves were called (and not miscalled) trans- 
gressors from the womb, and thou knewest we 
would deal very treacherously h. 

a Psalm xxxii. 5. b I John i. 8, 9. c Eccles. vii. 29. 
d Psalm xlix. 12, 20. e Rom. v. 12, 19. J Isaiah i. 4. 

g Ezek. xvi. 3. h Isa. xlviii. 8. 



so A METHOD CHAP. ih 

Confession of Sin. 

The nature of man was planted a choice and 
noble vine, wholly a right seed, but it is become 
the degenerate plant of a strange vine ^*; produc- 
ing the grapes of Sodom, and the clusters of Go- 
morrah Z;. How is the gold become dim, and 
the most fine gold changed / ! 

Behold, we were shapen in iniquity, and iri 
sin did our mothers conceive us m. For who 
can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ! Not 
onen. We are by nature children of wrath, be- 
cause children of disobedience, even as others Oi 

All flesh hath corrupted their way jo, we are 
all gone aside, we are altogether become filthy^ 
there is none that doeth good, no, not one q. 

4. We must lament our present corrupt disposi- 
tions to thai which is evil, and our indisposedness 
tOj ajid impote7Ky in, that which is good. We 
must look into our awn hearts, and confess with 
holy blushing : 

(1.) The blindness of our understandings, and 
their unaptness to admit the rays of divine light. 

By nature our understandings are darkened, 
being alienated from the life of God through the 
ignorance that is in us, because of the blindness 
of our hearts r. 

The things of the Spirit of God are foolishness 
to the natural man, neither can he know them^ 
because they are spiritually discerned^'; 

We are wise to do evil, but to do good we 

i Jer. ii. 21. ^ Deut. xxxii. 32.' / Lam. iv. I. m Psalm 
li. 5. n Job xiv. 4. o Eph. ii. 2, S. p Gen. vi. 12. q Pga). 
xiv. 3. r Eph. iv. 18. j 1 Cor. ii. 14. 



OHA.P. ir. FOR PRAYER. 31 

Confession of Sin. 



■■%^V^»^%^'*^%%<^%%%%%%<^'»^^V%^^%<%%»>^^ 



have no knowledge s. We know not, neither do 
we understand, we walk on in darkness t, 

God speaketh once, yea, twice, but we per- 
ceive it not u; but hearing, we hear, and do not 
understand v, and we see men as trees walking w. 

(^.) The siibbornness of our wills, and their 
unaptness to submit to the rules of the divine law. 

We have within us a carnal mind, which is 
enmity against God, and is not in subjection to 
the law of God, neither indeed can be.r. 

Thou hast written to us the great things of 
thy law, but they have been accounted by us as 
a strange thing, and our corrupt hearts have been 
sometimes ready to say^, who is the Almighty 
that we should serve him z ? And that we would 
certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of 
our own mouth a. For we have walked in the 
way of our own heart, and in the sight of our 
eyes, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the 
mind b. 

Our neck hath been an iron sinew c, and we 
have made our heart as an adamant d, we have 
refused to hearken, have pulled away the shoul- 
der, and stopped our ears like the deaf adder that 
will not hearken to the voice of the charmer, 
charm he ever so wisely e. 

How have we hated instruction, and our heart 
despised reproof, and have not obeyed the voice 

s Jer. iv. 22. t Psalm Ixxxii. 5. u Job xxxiii. H. 

vMatt.xiii. H. to Mark viii. 24«. x Rom. viii. 7. ^ Hosea 
viii. 12. z Job xxi. 15. a Jer. xliv. 17. b Eccl. xi. 9. 
c Isa. xlviii. 4. d Zech. vii. 11,12. e Psalm Iviii. 4<, 5. 



39 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 

of our teachers, nor inclined our ear to them 
that instructed us^^ 

(3.) The vanity of our thoughts^ their neglect 
of those things which they ought to be conversant 
withf and dwelling upon those things that are un- 
worthy of them, and tend to corrupt our minds. 

Every imagination of the thoughts of our heart 
is evil, only evil, and that continually, and it has 
been so from our youth g. 

O how long have those vain thoughts lodged 
within us hi those thoughts of foolishness which 
are sin i. From within, out of the heart, proceed 
evil thoughts A:/ which devise mischief upon the 
bed/, and carry the heart with the fool's eyes 
into the ends of the earth m. 

But God is not in all our thoughts, it is well 
if he be in any n : Of the Rock that begat us 
we have been unmindful, and have forgotten the 
God that formed uso; we have forgotten him 
days without numberj», and our hearts have walk- 
ed after vanity q, and become vain. Our inward 
thought having been, that our houses should con- 
tinue for ever ; this our way is our folly r. 

(4.) The carnality of our affections, their being 
placed upon wrong objects, and carried beyond 
due bounds. 

We have set those affections on things beneath 
which should have been set on things above 5, 

/Prov. V. 12, 13. g Gen. vi. 5. viii. 21. // Jer. iv. U. 
I Prov. xxiv. 9. k Matt, x v. 19. / Mic. ii. 1. m Prov. 
xvii. 24. n P«alm x. 4. o Deut. xxxii. 18. p Jer. ii. S2. 
q Jer. ii. 5. r Paalm xlix. 11, 13. s Col. iii. 1, 2. 



CHAP. ir. FOR TRAYER. S3 

Confession of Sin. 

where our treasure is, and where Christ sits on 
the right hand of God, the things which we 
should seek J. 

We have followed after lying vanities, and for- 
saken our own mercies 5; have forsaken the foun- 
tain of living waters, for cisterns, broken cisterns, 
that can hold no water t. 

We have panted after the dust of the earth, 
and have been full of care for what we shall eat, 
and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we 
shall be clothed, the things after which the Gen- 
tiles seek, and the righteousness thereof u. 

We have lifted up our souls unto vanity «;, 
and set our eyes upon that which is notj have 
looked at the things that are seen, which are 
temporal xv; but the things that are eternal have 
been forgotten and postponed x, 

(5.) The corruption of the whole man : irregu- 
lar appetites towards those things that are pleasing 
to sense^ and inordinate passions against those 
things that are displeasing^ and an alienation of 
the mind from the principles^ powers^ and pleasures 
of the spiritual and divine life, . . , 

We are born of the flesh, and we are flesh y : 
Dust we are z : We have borne the image of 
the earthly; and in us, that is, in our flesh, dwells 
no good thing a : For if to will is present with 
us, yet how to perform that which is good we 
find not : for the good which we would do, we 

J Mat. vi. 1 2. s Jonah ii. 8. t Jer. ii. 13. u Mat. vi. 
32, 33. V Psalra xxiv. 4. xv Prov. xxv. 5. x 2 Cor. iv. 
18. y John ill. 6. z Gen. iii. 19. a 1 Cor. xv. 49. 
2 E 



34 A METHOD CHAP. II. 



Confession of Sin. 

do it not : and the evil which we would not do, 
that we do b. 

We have a law in our members warring against 
the law of our mind, and bringing us into capti- 
vity to the law of sin that is in our members c : 
So that when we would do good, evil is present 
with us d. 

The whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint, 
from the sole of the foot, even unto the head, 
there is no soundness in us, but wounds, and 
bruises, and putrifying sores e. 

There is in us a bent to backslide from the 
living GodjT: Our hearts are deceitful above all 
things, and desperately wicked; who can know 
them g ? They start aside like a broken bow h. 

(6.) We must lament and confess our omissions 
of our duty, our neglect of it, and our trifling in 
it, and that xve have done so little, since we came 
into the world, of the great work we were sent 
into the world about, so very little to answer the 
end of our creation, or of our redemption, of our 
birth and of our baptism : and that we have profited 
no more by. the means of grace. 

We have been as fig-trees planted in the vine- 
yard, and thou hast come many years seeking 
fruit from us, but hast found none i ; and there- 
fore we might justly be cut down, and cast into 
the fire for cumbering the ground k : thou hast 
come looking for grapes, but behold wild grapes, 

b Rom. vii. 18, 19 :— c vii. 23 — d vii. 21. e Isa. i. 6. 

./ Hos. xi. 7. g Jer. xvii. 9. h Hot, vii. 16. i Luke xiii. 
6,7. A: Mat. iii. 10. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 35 

Confession of Sin. 



for we have been empty vines, bringing forth 
fruit unto ourselves /. 

We have known to do good, but have not 
done it m : we have hid our Lord's money, and 
therefore deserve the doom of the wicked and 
slothful servant w. .:>0'>^ *5:o ?.'T ;:.h; 

We have been unfaithful stewards, that have 
wasted our Lord's goods o ; for one sinner de- 
stroys much good p. 

Many a price hath been put into our hands to 
get wisdom, which we have had no heart to q ; 
or our heart has been at our left hand r. 

Our childhood and youth was vanity 7, and 
we have brought our years to an end as a tale 
that is told s. 

We have not known or improved the day of 
our visitation t ; have not provided meat in sum- 
mer, nor gathered food in harvest, though we 
have had guides, overseers, and rulers u. 

We are slow of heart to understand and be- 
lieve V ; and whereas for the time we might have 
been teachers of others, we are yet to learn the 
first principles of the oracles of God, have need 
of milk, and cannot bear strong meat w. 

We have cast off fear, and restrained prayer 
before God x : have not called upon thy name, 
nor stirred up ourselves to take hold on thee^. 

We have come before thee as thy people 

/ Isa. V. 4-. m Jas. iv. 17. n Mat. xxv. 18, 26. o Luke 
xvi. 1, 10. p Eccl. \%, 18. g Prov. xvii. 16. r Eccl. x. 2. 
— ^' xi. 10. 5 Psalm xc. 9. ^ Lukexix. 44. m Prov. vi 7, 
8. V Luke xxiv. 25. iv Heb. v. 12. x Job xv. 4. y Isa. 
Ixiv. 7. 



36 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 

come, and have sat before thee as thy people sit,- 
and have heard thy words, when our hearts at 
the same time have been going after our covet- 
ousness z : And thus have we brought the torn, 
and the lame, and the sick for sacrifice, have 
offered that to our God, which we would not 
have offered to our governor ; and have vowed 
and sacrificed to the Lord a corrupt thing, when 
we had in our flock a male a, 

(70 ^^ ^w^^ likewise bexvail our many actual 
transgressions^ in thought, word, and deed. 

We have sinned, Father, against heaven, and 
before thee b; we' have all sinned, and have 
come short of the glory of God c: for the God, 
in whose hand our breath is, in whose are all 
our ways, have we not glorified d. 

Against thee, thee only, have we sinned, and 
have done much evil in thy sight e ; neither 
have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, 
to walk in his laws which he hath set before 
usf; though they are all holy, just, and good g. 

Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou 
us from secret faults h. 

In many things we all offend i ; and our ini- 
quities are more than the hairs of our head k. 

As a fountain casteth out her waters, so do 
our hearts cast out wickedness // and this has 
been our manner fron our youth up, that we 
have not obeyed thy voice m. 

z Ezek. xxxiii. 31. a Mai. i. 8, 14. b Luke xv. 18. 

cRom.iii.23. <^ Dan. v. 23. e Psal. li. 4. /Dan.ix.lO. 
g Rom. vii. 12. h Psalm xix. 12. i James iii. 2. k Psalm 
xl. 12. / Jer.vi. 7.— w iii. 25. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 3? 

Confession of Sin. 

Out of the evil treasure of our hearts we have 
brought forth many evil things n. 

( 1 .) TVe must confess and bewail the working of 
pride in us. 

We have all reason to be humbled for the pride 
of our hearts 0, that we have thoughts of our- 
selves above what hath been meet jo, and have 
not thought soberly, nor walked humbly with 
our God q, 

i We have leaned to our own understanding, 
and trusted in our own heart r; and have sacri- 
ficed to our own netj. 

We have sought our own glory more than the 
glory of him that sent us 5, and have been puffed 
up for that which we should have mourned /. 

(2.) The breaking out of passion and rash anger. 

We have not had the rule which we ought to 
have had over our own spirits, which have there- 
fore been a city that is broken down, and has no 
walls Un 

We have been soon angry, and anger hath 
rested in our bosom v. And when our spirits 
have been provoked w?, we have spoken unad- 
visedly with our lips x; and have been guilty 
of that clamour and bitterness which should have 
been put from us y, 

(S.) Our covetousness and love of the world. 

Our conversation has not been without covet- 



nMat.xii. 35. o 2 Chroff. xxxii. 26. /> Rom. xii.S. 

q Micah vi. 8. r Prov. iii. 5 xxviii. 26. J Hab. i. 16. 

9 John vii. 18. t I Cor. v. 2. u Prov. xxv. 28— r xiv. 17. 
to Eccl. vii. 9. X Psalm cvi. 33. i/ Eph. iv. 31. 



38 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 



t »»^r^^»^^^% %»»^ %^< 



ousness z, nor have we learned in every state to 
be content with such things as we have a. 

Who can say that he is clean from that love 
of money, which is the root of all evil b, that 
covetousness, which is idolatry c ? 

We have sought great things to ourselves, when 
thou hast said, Seek them not d. 

(4.) Our sensuality andjlesh pleasing. 

We have minded the things of the flesh more 
than the things of the spirit e; and have lived 
in pleasure on the earth, and have been wanton, 
and have nourished our hearts as in a day of 
slaughter^ 

We have made provision for the flesh, to ful- 
fil the lusts ofitg; even those lusts which war 
against our souls /// and in many instances have 
acted, as if we had been lovers of pleasure more 
than lovers of God i. 

When we did eat and when we did drink, did 
we not eat to ourselves, and drink to ourselves k. 

(5.) Our security and unmindfulness of the 
changes we are liable to in this world. 

We have put far from us the evil day /, and 
in our prosperity have said, we should never be 
moved w^, as if to-morrow must needs be as this 
day, and much more abundant n. 

We have encouraged our souls to take their 
ease, to eat and drink and be merry, as if we 

z Heb. xiii. 5. a Phil. iv. 11. b\ Tina. vi. 10. c Col. 
iii. 5. rfJer. xlv. 5. « Rom. viii. 5. yjamesv. 5. g'Rom. 
xiii.U. AlPet.ii.ll. « 2 Tim. iii. 4. ^Zech.vii.6. 
/ Amos vi. 2. m Psalm xxx. 6. n Is. Ivi. 12. 



CHAP. ri. FOR PRAYER. 89 

Confession of Sin. 

had goods laid up for many years, when perhaps 
this night our souls may be required of us o. 

We have been ready to trust in uncertain riches 
more than in the living Godj9/ to say to the 
gold, thou art our hope, and to the fine gold, thou 
art our confidence q, on>; t^rio •m;;)*^ -^iYi^u^ 

(6.) Our fretfulness and impatience, and niur- 
muring under our afflictions^ our inordinate dejec - 
tion and distrust of God and his providence. 

When thou hast chastised us, and we were chas- 
tised, we have been as a bullock unaccustomed 
to the yoke r, and though our own foolishness 
hath perverted our way, yet our heart hath fret- 
ted against the Lord J; and thus, in our distress, 
we have trespassed yet more against the Lord s. 

We have either despised the chastening of the 
Lord, or fainted when we have been rebuked of 
him t; and if we faint in the day of adversity, 
our strength is small w. 

We have said in our haste, we are cast off 
from before thine eyes t?, and that the Lord hath 
forsaken us, our God hath forgotten us, as if 
God would be favourable no more W; as if he 
had forgotten to be gracious, and had in anger 
shut up his tender mercies. This has been our 
infirmity x, 
* (7.) Our uncharitahleness towards our brethren^ 

Luke xii. 19, 20. p 1 Tim. vi. 17. q Job xxxi. 24. 
r Jer. xxxi. 18. j Prov. xix. 3. s2 Chron. xxviii. 22. 

t Prov. iii. li. — u xxiv. 10. v Psalm xxxi. 22. w Isa. xlix. 
14. a: Psalm Ixxvii. 7, 8, 10. ..t 



40 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 

and unpeaceableness with our relatiofis, neighbours, 
and friends, and perhaps injustice towards them. 

We have been verily guilty concerning our 
brother^; for we have not studied the things 
that make for peace, nor things wherewith we 
might edify one another z, ; ,.:> . s; 

We have been ready to judge our brother, 
and to set at nought our brother, forgetting that 
we must all shortly stand before the judgment- 
seat of Christ a. 

Contrary to the royal law of charity, we have 
vaunted ourselves, and been puffed up, have 
behaved ourselves unseemly, and sought our 
own; have been easily provoked b; have rejoiced 
in iniquity, and been secretly glad at calami- 
ties c. 

We have been desirous of vain-glory, provok- 
ing one another, envying one another d: when 
we should have considered one another, to pro- 
voke to love and to good works e. 

The bowels of our compassion have been shut 
up from those that are in need^ and we have 
hidden ourselves from our own flesh g. Nay, 
perhaps our eye has been evil against our poor 
brother h, and we have despised the poor i. 

And if in any thing we have gone beyond 
and defrauded our brother Jc, if we have walked 

y Gen. xlii. 21. z Rona. xiv. 19. a xiv. 10. b 1 Cor. xiii. 
4, 5. c Prov. xvii. 5. d Gal. v. 26. e Heb. x. 24-. / 1 John 
iii. 17. g Isa. Iviii. 7. h Deut. xv. 9. i James ii. 6. 

k 1 Thes. iv. 6. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 41 

Confession of Sin. 

with vanity, and our foot hath hasted to deceit, 
and if any blot hath cleaved to our hands /, Lord 
discover it to us, that if we have done iniquity 
we may do so no more m. 
(8.) Our tongue sins. 

In the multitude of our words there wanteth 

not sin w, nor can a man full of talk be justified o. 

While the lips of the righteous feed many, our 

lips have poured out foolishness, and spoken fro- 

wardness p. 

Much corrupt communication hath proceeded 
out of our mouths: that foolish talking and jest- 
ing, which is not convenient, and little of that 
which is good and to the use of edifying, and 
which might minister grace unto the hearers q. 

If for every idle word that men speak they 
must give an account, and if by our words we 
must be justified, and by our words we must be 
condemned, woe unto us, for we are undone r; 
for we are of unclean lips, and dwell in the midst 
of a people of unclean lips j. 

What would become of us, if God should 
make our own tongues to fall upon us s P 

(9.) Our spiritual slothfulness and decay. 

We have been slothful in the business of re- 
ligion, and not fervent in spirit, serving the Lord/. 

The things which remain are ready to die, and 

/ Job xxxi. 5, 7. — we xxxiv. 32. n Prov. x, 19. o Job 
xi. 2. p Prov. X. 2 1 , 32. xv. 2. q Eph. iv. 29. ▼. 4. r Matt, 
xii. 36, 37. j Isa. vi. 5. s Psalm Ixiv 8. i Rom. xii. 11. 



4f2 A METHOD CHAP. II. 



Confession of Sin. 

our works have not been found perfect before 
God ti, 1 '* vi . : • 

We have observed the winds, and therefore 
have not sown, have regarded the clouds, and 
therefore have not reaped v; and with the shig- 
gard have frighted ourselves with the fancy of 
a lion in the way, a lion in the streets; and have 
turned on our bed as the door on the hinges W; 
still crying, Yet a little sleep, a little slumber .r. 

We have lost our first love 3/, and where is 
now the blessedness we sometimes spake of js? ? 

Our goodness hath been as the morning cloud 
and the early dew, that passeth away a. 

And that which is at the bottom of all, is the 
evil heart of unbelief in us, which inclines us to 
depart from the living God b, 

7. TVe must acknowledge the great evil that there 
is in sin^ and in our sin; the malignity of its na^ 
iure, and its mischievousness to us, 

(1.) The sinfulness of sin. 

O that sin may appear sin to us, may appear 
in its own colours, and that by the command- 
ment we may see it to be exceeding sinful c, be- 
cause it is the transgression of the law d. 

By every wilful sin we have in effect said, We 
will not have this man to reign over us e. And 
who is the Lord, that we should obey his voice^ 

u Rev. iii. 2. v Eccl. xi. 4. tv Prov. xxvi. 13, 14.— 

X vi. 10. y Rev. ii. 4. z Gal iv. 15. a Hos. vi. 4. b Heb. 
iii. 12. c Rom. vii. 15. d I John iii. 4. e Luke xix. 14. 
f Exod. V. 2. 



CHAP. ir. FOR PRAYER. 43 

Confession of Sin. 

And thus have we reproached the Lord g^ and 
cast his laws behind our backs h, 
(2.) The foolishness of sin, 
O God, thou knowest our foolishness, and our 
sins are not hid from thee i: we were foolish in 
being disobedient Jc: and our lusts are foolish 
and hurtful /. 

Foolishness was bound up in our hearts when 
we were children m; for vain man would be wise, 
though he is born like the wild ass's colt w. 

Our way hath been our folly o, and in many 
instances we have done foolishly, very foolishly p. 
So foolish have we been and ignorant, and 
even as beasts before God q, 
(3.) The unprofitableness of sin. 
We have sinned and perverted that which was 
right, and it profited us not r. 

What fruit have we now in those things where- 
of we have cause to be ashamed, seeing the end 
of those things is death ^'.^ And what are we 
profited, if we should gain the whole world, and 
lose our own souls s ? 

(4.) The deceitfulness of sin. 
Sin hath deceived us, and by it slain us /; for our 
hearts hath been hardened through the deceitful- 
ness of sin M; and we have been drawn away of 
our own lust, and enticed v. 

It has promised us liberty, but has made us 

g Numb. XV. 30. h Neh. ix. 26. i Psal. Ixix. 5. h Tit. 
iii. 3. l\ Tim. vi. 9. m Prov. xxii. 15. n Job xi. 12. 
Psalm xlix. 13. p2 Sam. xxiv. 10. q Psalm Ixxiii. 22, 
r Job xxxiii. 27. j Rom. vi. 22. s Mat. xvi. 26. t Rom. 
vii. 11. uHeb. iii. 13. v James i. 14. 



44- A METHOD CHAP. 11. 

Confession of Sin. 



%%«%«« v%«^«^«^»^v%«%>^««v%v««^«^*^«^ ««%«.%«« 



the servants of corruption; hath promised that 
we shall not surely die, and that we shall be as 
gods w; but it has flattered us, and spread a net 
for our feet x, 

r The pride of our heart particularly hath de- 
ceived us ^. 

(5.) The offence which by sin we hctve given to 
the holy God. 

By breaking the law we have dishonoured 
God z, and have provoked the holy One of 
Israel to anger most bitterly a. And many a 
thing that we have done hath displeased the 
Lord b, 

God has been grieved by our whorish heart, 
and by our eyes that have gone a-whoring after 
idols c. 

We have tempted him, and proved him, and 
grieved him in the wilderness c?, have rebelled 
and vexed his Holy Spirit e, and pressed him 
with our iniquities, as a cart is pressed that is 
full of sheavesy. 

We have grieved the Holy Spirit of God, by 
whom we are sealed to the day of redemption g, 

(6.) The damage which by sin we have done to 
our own souls and their great interests. 

By our iniquities we have sold ourselves h, and 
in sinning against thee we have wronged our 
own souls i. 

lu 2 Pet. ii. 19. x Prov. xxix. 5. y Obadiah 3. 

z Rom. ii. 23. a Isa. i. 4. Hos. xii. 14. 6 2 Sam. xi. 27. 
c Ezek. vi. 9. d Psalm xcv. 9, 10. e Isa. IxiiL 10. yAmos 
ii. 13. g Eph. iv. 30. h Isa. Ii. 1. i Prov. viii. 36. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 45 

Confession of Sin. 

Our sins have separated between us and God A:, 
and have kept good things from us ; and by them 
our minds and consciences have been defiled /. 

Our own wickedness hath corrected us, and our 
backslidings have reproved us, and we cannot 
but know and see, that it is an evil thing, and 
bitter, that we have forsaken the Lord our God, 
and that his fear hath not been in us m. 

O what fools are they that make a mock at 
sin n! r;,^ dw 

8. We must aggravate our sins, and take no* 
tice of those things which make them more heinous 
in the sight of God, and more dangerous to our- 
selves. 

We bewail before thee all our sins, and all 
our transgressions in all our sins o. 

(1.) The more knowledge we have of good and 
evil, the greater is our sin. 

We have known our Master's will, but have 
not done it, and therefore deserve to be beaten 
with many stripes p. 

We have known the way of the Lord, and the 
judgments of our God, and yet have altogether 
broken the yoke, and burst the bonds q. 

We have known the judgment of God, that 
they which do such things are worthy of death, 
and yet have done them, and have had pleasure 
in them that do them r. 



ifclsa.lix. 2. 


/ Tit. i. 15. m Jer. ii. 19. n Prov. xiv. 9. 


o Lev. xvi. 21. 


p Luke xii. 47. g Jer. v. 4, 5. r Rom, 


i. 32. 





UBRARY ST. fe^f HY'S COLLEGE 



46 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 

We have taught others, and yet have not 
taught ourselvesj ; and while we profess to know 
God, we have in works denied him 5. 

(2.) The greater profession we have made of 
religion^ the greater hath been our sin. 

We call ourselves of the holy city, and stay 
ourselves upon the God of Israel, and make men- 
tion of his name, but not in truth and righteous- 
ness t. For we have dishonoured that worthy 
name by which we are called w, and given great 
occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blas- 
pheme d. 

We have named the name of Christ, and yet 
have not departed from iniquity v. 

(3.) The more mercies we have received from 
God, the greater hath been our sin. 

Thou hast nourished and brought us up as 
children, but we have rebelled against thee w. 

We have ill requited thee, O Lord, as foolish 
people and unwise : though thou art our Father 
that made us, and bought us, and established us, 
yet our spot has not been the spot of thy chil- 
dren 07. 

We have not rendered again according to the 
benefit done unto us t/. 

(4.) The fairer warning we have had from the 
word of God, and from our own consciences, con^ 
cerning our danger of sin, and danger by sin, the 
greater is the sin, if we go on in it. 

j Rom. ii. 21. s Tit. i. 16. t Isa. xlviii. 1,2. u James 
ii. 7. rf2 Sam. xii. 13. u 2 Tim. ii. 19. tv Isa. i. 2. 
X Deut. xxxii. 5^6, y2 Chron. xxxii. 25. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 47 



Confession of Sin. 



We have been often reproved, and yet have 
hardened our neck at, and have gone on frowardly 
in the v^ay of our heart h. 

Thou hast sent to us, saying, O do not this 
abominable thing which I hate ; but we have not 
hearkened, nor inclined our ear c. 

The word of God hath been to us, precept 
upon precept, and line upon line d ; and though 
we have beheld our nature as face to face in a 
glass, yet we have gone astray, and straightway 
forgot what manner of men we were e. 

(5.) The greater afflictions we have been under 
for sin, the greater is the si?i if we go on in it. 

Thou hast striken us, but we have not grie- 
ved ; we have refused to receive correction, and 
have made our faces harder than a rock^; and 
the rod hath not driven the foolishness out of 
our hearts g. 

Thou hast chastened us with the rod of men, 
and with the stripes of the children of men ; yet 
we have not turned to him that smiteth us h, 
nor have we sought the Lord of hosts i. 

When some have been overthrown as Sodom 
and Gomorrah were, we have been as brands 
plucked out of the fire ; yet have we not returned 
unto thee, O Lord k. And when thy hand has 
been lifted up, we have not seen it /. 

a Prov. xxix. 1. b Isa. Ivii. 17. c Jer. xliv. 4, 5. d Isa. 
xxviii. 13. e James i. 23, 24. /Jer. v. 3. g Prov. xxii. 15. 
h 2 Sam. vii. 14. i Isa. ix. 13. k Amos iv. 1 1. / Isaiah 
xxvi. II. 



4-8 A METHOD CHAP. 11. 

Confession of Sin. 

(6.) The more vows and promises we have made 
of better obedience, the greater has our sin been. 

We have not performed the words of the cove- 
nant which we made before thee m, but, as treach- 
erous dealers, we have dealt treacherously w. 

Did we not say, We would not transgress, we 
woul3 not oftend any more o ? We did p ; and 
yet we have returned with the dog to his vomit q; 
have returned to folly, after God hath spoken 
peace r. 

9. TVe must judge and condemn ourselves Jbr 
our sins, and own ourselves liable to punishment. 

And now, O our God, what shall we say after 
this, for we have forsaken thy commandments^* ? 
We have sinned, what shall we do unto thee, O 
thou Preserver of men s ? 

We know that the law curseth every one that 
continues not in all things that are written in 
the book of the law to do them t: that the wages 
of every sin is death u : and that for these things' 
sake the wrath of God cometh upon the chil- 
dren of disobedience v. 

And we are all guilty before God w; the scrip- 
ture hath concluded us all under sin x ; and 
therefore thou migh test justly be angry with us 
till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should 
be no remnant, nor escaping y, 

m Jer. xxxiv. 18. n Isa. xxiv. 16. o Jer. ii. 20. p Job 
xxxiv. 13. q 2 Pel. ii. 22. r Psal. Ixxxv. 8. j Ezra ix. 
10. s Job vii. 20. t Gal. iii. 10. u Rom. vi. 23. v Eph. 
V. 6. w Rom. iii. 19. x Gal. iii. 22. y Ezra ix. 14. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 49 

Confession of Sin. 

If thou shouldest lay righteousness to the line, 
and judgment to the plummet -2;, thou mightest 
justly separate us unto all evil, according to all 
the curses of the covenant, and blot out our 
names from under heaven a. 

Thou mightest justly swear in thy wrath, that 
we should never enter into thy rest Z>; mightest 
justly set us naked and bare, and take away our 
corn in the season thereof c, and put into our 
hands the cup of trembling, and make us drink 
even the dregs of that cup d. 

Thou art just in whatsoever thou art pleased 
to lay upon us; for thou hast done right, but 
we have done wickedly e. Nay, thou, our God, 
hast punished us less than our iniquities have 
deserved/. 

Thou therefore shalt be justified when thou 
speakest, and clear when thou judgest g; and we 
will accept of the punishment of our iniquity //, 
and humble ourselves under thy mighty hand ?, 
and say, the Lord is righteous l\ 

Wherefore should a living man complain, a 
man for the punishment of his sins /r* No, we 
will bear the indignation of the Lord, because we 
have sinned against him m. 

1 0. We must give to God the glory of his pa* 
iience and long-suffering toxvards us, and his xvi/l- 
ingness to be reconciled. 

z Isa. xxviii. 17. a Deut. xxix. 20. h Psalm xcv. 11. 
c Hosea ii. 3, 9. d Psalm Ixxv. 8. e Neh. ix, 33. f Ezra 
IX. 13. fr Psalm li. 4<. h Lev. XKvi. 43. i 1 Prt. v. 6. 
I{ 2 Clw. xii. 6. I Lam, iii. 39. vi Micah vii. 9. 



50 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 

O the riches of the patience and forbearance 
of God n ! how long-suffering is he to iis-ward, 
not willing that any should perish, but that all 
should come to repentance o. 

Thou hast not dealt with us according to our 
sins, nor rewarded us after our iniquities p^ but 
thou waitest to be gracious to us q. 

Sentence against our evil works has not been 
executed speedily r, but thou hast given us space 
to repent, and make our peace with theej; and 
callest even backsliding children to return to 
thee, and hast promised to heal their backslid- 
ings; and therefore, behold, we come unto thee, 
for thou art the Lord our God s. 

Surely the long-suffering of our Lord is salva- 
tion /; and if the Lord had been pleased to kill 
us, he would not, as at this time, have showed 
us such things as these ii. 

And O that the goodness of God might lead 
us to repentance v ! for though we have tres- 
passed against our God, yet now there is hope 
in Israel concerning this thing w. 

Thou hast said it, and hast confirmed it with 
an oath, that thou hast no pleasure in the death 
of sinners, but rather that they should turn and 
live x: Therefore will we rend our hearts and 
not our garments, and turn to the Lord our 
God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to 

TiRom. ii. 4*. o2Pet. iii. 9. 7; Psalm ciii. 10. y Isa. 
XXX. 18. rEccI.viii.il. ^'Rev. ii. 21. iJer. iii. 23. 
t 2 Pet. iii. 15. u Judg. xiii. 23. v Rom. ii. 4. to Ezra 
X. 2. X Ezek. xxxiii. 1 1. 



CHAP. II. FOR PRAYER. 51 

Confession of Sin. 

anger, and of great kindness. Who knows if 
he will return and repent, and leave a blessing 
behind him y / 

11. We must humbly profess our sorrow and 
shame for sin, and humbly engage ourselves y in the 
strength of divine grace, thai we will be better y, and 
do better for the future.', rl ( l r rr >r;'MJ.' vl^-: c*". 

Lord, we repent, for the kingdom of heaven 
is at hand z; to which thou hast exalted thy Son 
Christ Jesus, to give repentance and remission 
of sins a. 

We have heard of thee by the hearing of the 
ear, but now our eyes see thee; wherefore we 
abhor ourselves, and repent in dust and ashes b; 
therefore will we be like the doves of the valleys, 
every one mourning for his iniquities c. 

O that our heads were waters, and our eyes 
fountains of tears, that we might weep day and 
night for our transgressions d; and might in such 
a manner sow those tears, as that at last we may 
reap in joy; may now go forth weeping, bearing; 
precious seed, and may in due time come again 
with rejoicing, bringing in our sheaves with us e. 

Our iniquities are gone over our heads as a 
heavy burden, they are too heavy for us/; but 
weary and heavy laden under this burden, we 
come to Christ, who has promised that in him 
we shall find rest to our souls g. 

y Joel ii. 13, 14. z Mdt.u\.2. a Acts v. 31. A Job 
xlii. 5, 6. c Ezek. vii. 16. rf Jcr. ix. 1. e Psalm cxxvi. 
5, 6.— ^xxxviii. 4'. g Mat. xi. 28. 



52 A METHOD CHAP. II. 

Confession of Sin. 

O that, knowing every man the plague of his 
own heart //, we may look unto him whom we 
have pierced, and may mourn, and be in bitter- 
ness for him, as one that is in bitterness for a 
first-born i. That we may sorrow after a godly 
sort, with that sorrow w^hich worketh repentance 
unto salvation, not to be repented ofk; and that 
we may remember, and be confounded, and 
never open our mouth any more because of our 
shame, when thou art pacified towards us /. 

And O that we may bring forth fruits meet 
for repentance m I and may never return again 
to folly n: for what have we to do any more 
with idols o.^ Sin shall not have dominion over 
us, for we are not under the law, but under 
grace p» 

We have gone astray like lost sheep: seek thy 
servants, for we do not forget thy command- 
ments q» 

h 1 Kings viii. 38. i Zech. xii. 10. k 2, Cor. vii. 10. 

I Eze. xvi. 63. m Mat. iii. 8. n Psalm Ixxxv. 8. o Hos. 
xiv. 8. p Rom. vi. 14?. q Psalm cxix. 176. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 53 

Petitions and Requests. 

CHAP. III. 

Of the third Part of Prayer, which is. Petition and 
Supplication for the good things which we stand in 
need of, 
\ 

Having opened the wounds of sin, both the 
guilt of it, and the power of it, and its remain- 
ders in us, we must next seek unto God for the 
remedy, for healing and help ; for from him alone 
it is to be expected, and he will for this be in- 
quired of by us. And now we must affect our 
hearts with a deep sense of the need we have 
of those mercies which we pray for ; that we are 
undone, forever undone, without them; and with 
a high esteem and value for them, that we are 
happy, we are made for ever happy, if we obtain 
them ; that we may, like Jacob, wrestle with him 
in prayer, as for our lives and the lives of our 
souls. But we must not think in our prayers to 
prescribe to him, or by our importunity to move 
him. He knows us better than we know our- 
selves, and knows what he will do r. But thus 
we open our wants and our desires, and then refer 
ourselves to his wisdom and goodness; and here- 
by we give honour to him as our Protector and 

r John vi. 6. 



54 A METHOD CHAP. UL 

Petitions and Requests. 

Benefactor, and take the way which he himself" 
hath appointed, of fetching in mercy from him, 
and by faith plead his promise with him ; and if 
we are sincere herein, we are, through his grace, 
qualified according to the tenor of the new cove- 
nant, to receive his favours, and are to be assured 
that we do, and shall receive them /. 

And now. Lord, what wait we for u ? Truly 
our hope is even in thee ; deliver us from all our 
transgressions, that we may not be the reproach 
of the foolish. 

Lord, all our desire is before thee, and our 
groaning is not hid from thee v ; even the groan- 
ings which cannot be uttered : for he that search- 
eth the heart, knows what is the mind of the 
Spirit w. 

) We do not think that we shall be heard for 
our much speaking ; for our heavenly Father 
knows what things we have need of before we 
ask him a; ; but our Master hath told us, that 
whatsoever we ask the Father in his name, he 
will give it us. And he hath said. Ask, and ye 
shall receive, that your joy may be full i/. 

And this is the confidence that we have in 
him, that if we ask any thing according to his 
will, he heareth us. And if we know that he 
hear us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have 
the petitions that we desired of him z. 



t Mark xi. 21'. u Psalna xxxix. 7, 8. v xxxviii. 9. 

w Rom. viii. 26, 27. x Mat. vi. 7, 8. 7/ John xvi. 23, 24. 
zl John V. H, 15. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 55 

Petitions and Requests. 

1. We must earnestly pray for the pardon and 
forgiveness of all our sins. v. \i\i tn \m ,t)ic.. : 

Lord, we come to thee, as the poor publican, 
that stood afar off, and would not so much as 
lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his 
breast : and we pray his prayer, God be merci- 
ful to us sinners a. The God of infinite mercy 
be merciful to us. 

O wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and 
cleanse us from our sin ; for we acknowledge our 
transgressions, and our sin is ever before us. 
O purge us with hyssop, and we shall be clean ; 
wash us, and we shall be whiter than snow ; hide 
thy face from our sins, and blot out our iniqui- 
ties h. 

Be thou merciful to our unrighteousness, and 
our sins and our iniquities do thou remember no 
more c. O forgive us that great debt d. 

Let us be justified freely by thy grace e, 
through the redemption that is in Jesus, from all 
those things from which we could not be justi- 
fied by the law of Moses^^ 

O let not our iniquity be our ruin g ; but let 
the Lord take away our sin, that we may not 
die /r, not die eternally; that we may not be 
hurt of the second death i. 

Blot out as a cloud our transgressions, and as 
a thick cloud our sins ; for we return unto thee, 
because thou hast redeemed us h. 

a Luke xviii. 1 3. b Psalm li. 2, 3, 7, 9. c Heb. viii. 1 2. 
d Mat. xviii. 32. e Rora. iii. 24. f Acts xiii. 39. g Ezek. 
xviii. 30. h 1 Sam xii. 13. i Rev. ii. 11. k Isa. xliv. 22. 



56 A METHOD CHAP. HI. 

Petitions and Requests. 

v» Enter not into judgment with thy servants, O 
Lord, for in thy sight shall no flesh living be 
justified /. 

Take away all our iniquity, and receive us gra- 
ciously; heal our backslidings, and love us freely, 
and let thine anger be turned away from us ; for 
in thee the fatherless findeth mercy m. 

Though our sins have been as scarlet, let them 
be as white as snow, and though they have been 
red like crimson, let them be as wool, that be- 
ing willing and obedient, we may eat the good of 
the land n. 

We will say unto God, do not condemn us o, 
but deliver us from going down to the pit, for 
thou hast found a ransom p. 

For the encouraging of our faith, and the ex- 
citing of our fervency in this petition for the par- 
don of sin, *we may plead xcith God, 

(I.) 2'he injinite goodness of his nature, his rea- 
diness to forgive sin, and his glorying in it. 

Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, 
and rich in mercy to all them that call upon 
thee. Thou art a God full of compassion, and 
gracious ; long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy 
and truth q. 

Thou art a God ready to pardon, merciful, slow 
to anger, and of great kindness r ; thou dost not 
always chide, nor keep thine anger for ever j. 

Thou, even thou, art he that blottest out our 

I Psalm cxliii. 2. m Hcsea xiv. 2, 3, 4. n Isa. i. 18, 19. 
o Job X. 2. — p xxxiii. 24'. q Psalm Ixxxvi. 5, 15. r Nth. 
ix. 17. j Psalm ciii. 9. 



r 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 57 

Petitions and Requests. 

transgressions for thine own sake, and wiit not 
remember our sins, which we are here to put 
thee in remembrance of to plead with thee, and 
to declare, that we may be justified s. 

And now, we beseech thee, let the power of 
our Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, 
saying, the Lord is long-suffering, and of great 
mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Par- 
don, we beseech thee, the iniquity of thy people, 
according unto the greatness of thy mercy j and 
as thou hast forgiven even until now t. 

For who is a God like unto thee, that pardon - 
est iniquity, and passest by the transgression oi' 
the remnant of thine heritage ? who retainest not 
thine anger for ever, because thou delightest in 
mercy. O that thou wouldst have compassion 
upon us, and subdue our iniquities, and cast all 
our sins into the depths of the sea w. 

(2.) The merit and righteousness of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, which we relij upon as our main plea 
in our petition for the pardon of sin. 

We know, that as thou art gracious and merci- 
ful, so thou art the righteous God that loveth 
righteousness v, and wilt by no means clear the 
guilty w. We cannot say, Have patience with 
us, and we will pay thee all x ; for we are all as 
an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are 
as filthy rags 7/, But Jesus Christ is made of 

s Isa. xliii. 25, 26. t Numb. xiv. 17, 18, 19. u Micah vii. 
18, 19. V Psalm xi. 7. tv Exod. xxxiv. 7. x Matt, xviii. 
26. ylsa. lxiv.6. 

2 H 



58 A Method chap. hi. 

Petitions and Requests. 

God to US righteousness z, being made sin for us, 
though he knew no sin, that we might be made 
the righteousness of God in him a. 

We have sinned, but we have an advocate 
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who 
is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours 
only, but for the sins of the whole world b. 

It is God that justifieth ; who is he that shall 
condemn ? It is Christ that died, yea rather 
that is risen again, and now is even at the right 
hand of God, who also maketh intercession for 
us c, and whose blood speaks better things than 
that of Abel d. 

We desire to count every thing loss for Christ, 
and every thing as dung, that we may win Christ, 
and be found in him, not having any righteous- 
ness of our own, but that which is through the 
faith of Christ e. 

This is the name whereby we will call him. 
The Lord our righteousness /T In him, Lord, we 
believe; help thou our unbelief. 

Lord, remember David and all his troubles; the 
Son of David g. Remember all his offerings, and 
accept his burnt sacrifice, and turn not away the 
face of thine Anointed h ; who by his own blood 
is entered into heaven itself, now to appear in 
the presence of God for us i. 

Hast not thou thyself set forth thy Son Christ 

z 1 Cor. i. 30. a 2 Cor. v. 21. b 1 John iii. 1, 2. 

c Rom. viii. 33, 34. d Heb. xii. 24. e Phil. iii. 7, 8, 9. 

y Jer. xxiii. 6. g Psalm cxxxii. I, 20.— A xx. 3. t Heb. 
ix. 24. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 59 

Petitions and Requests. 



1««%««>«««%«V%V««««/%'V« 



Jesus, to be a propitiation for sin through faith 
in his blood, to declare thy righteousness for the 
remission of sins, to declare at this time thy 
righteousness, that thou mayest be just, and the 
justifier of him that believeth in Jesus k ; and we 
now receive the atonement /. V' .' ^ 

(3.) The promises God hath made in Ms wotd 
to pardon and absolve all them that truly repent^ 
and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel. 

Lord, is not this the word which thou hast 
spoken, that if the wicked forsake his way, and 
the unrighteous man his thoughts, and return 
unto the Lord, even to our God, that thou wilt 
abundantly pardon, wilt multiply to pardon m. 

To thee, the Lord our God, belong mercies 
and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled 
against thee n. 

Is not this the covenant which thou hadst made 
with the house of Israel o, that thou wilt take 
away their sins; that thou wilt forgive their ini- 
quity, and remember their sin no more p; that 
the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and 
there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and 
they shall not be found q ? 

Hast thou not said, that if the wicked will 
turn from all his sins which he hath committed, 
and keep thy statutes, he shall live, he shall not 
die, all his transgressions shall not be mentioned 
unto him r ? 

^ Rom. iii. 25, 26. — /v. U. ♦» ha. Iv. 7. w Dan. ix. 9. 
o Rom. xi. 27. p Jer. xxxi. S^. — q 1. 20. r Ezek. xviif. 

2 J, 22. 



60 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Hast thou not appointed that repentance and 
remission of sins should be preached in Christ's 
name unto all nationsj.^ 

Didst thou not promise, that when the sins 
of Israel were put upon the head of the scape- 
goat, they should be sent away into the wilder- 
ness, into a land not inhabited s? And as far as 
the east is from the west, so far dost thou re- 
move our transgressions from us /. 

O remember these words unto thy servants, 
upon which thou hast caused us to hope w. 

(4.) Ou7' own misery and danger because of 

sin. :; 

For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon our 
iniquity, for it is great v ; for innumerable evils 
have compassed us about, our iniquities have 
taken hold upon us, so that we are not able to 
look up. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver us j 
O Lord, make haste to help us w. 

O remember not against us former iniquities, 
let thy tender mercy speedily prevent us, for we 
are brought very low. Help us, O God of our 
salvation, for the glory of thy name ; deliver us, 
and purge away our sins for thy name's sake x. 

Remember not the sins of our youth, nor our 
transgressions, according to thy mercy remem- 
ber thou us, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord y. 

j Luke xxiv. 4-7. s Lev. xvi. 21, 22. t Psalno ciii. 12. 
— u cxix. 49 — V XXV. 1 1 — vo xl. 12, 13. x Ixxix. 8, 9. 

y XXV. 7. 



CHAP. lir. FOR PRAYER. 6l 

Petitions and Requests. 

(5.) The blessed condition which they are in 
whose sins are pardoned. 

O let us have the blessedness of those whose 
transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is cov- 
ered ; of that man unto whom the Lord impu- 
teth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no 
guile z. 

O let us have redemption through Christ's 
blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to 
the riches of thy grace, wherein thou hast aboun- 
ded towards us in all wisdom and prudence a: 
That being in Christ Jesus, there may be no con- 
demnation to us b» 

That our sins, which are many, being forgiven 
us, we may go in peace c; and the inhabitants 
shall not say, I am sick, if the people that dwell 
therein be forgiven their iniquity d, 

2. We must likewise pray that God will be re- 
conciled to uSy that we may obtain his favour and 
blessing, and gracious acceptance. 

(1.) That we may be at peace with God, and 
his anger may be turned away from us. 
.' Being justified by faith, let us have peace with 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through 
him let us have access into that grace wherein 
believers stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory 
of God e. 

Be thou not a terror to us, for thou art our 
hope in the day of evilj^ 

z Psalm xxxii. 1,2. a Eph. i. 7, 8. b Rom. viii. 1. 

c Luke vii. 47, 50. d Isa. xxxiii. 24-. e Rom. v. 1,2. 

/Jer. xvii. 17. 



62 A METHOD CHAP. Ill* 

Petitions and Requests. 

In Jesus Christ let us, who sometimes were 
afar off, be made nigh by the blood of Christ; 
for he is our peace, who hath broken down the 
middle wall of partition between us, and, that he 
might reconcile us to God by his cross, hath 
slain the enmity thereby, so making peace. 
Through him therefore let us, who had made our- 
selves strangers and foreigners, become fellow- 
citizens with the saints, and of the household of 
God^. »>\'ji\ n'^'j 

Fury is not in thee, who wouldst set the briars 
and thorns against thee in battle, thou would- 
est burn them together; but thou hast encoura- 
ged us to take hold on thy strength, that we 
may make peace, and hast promised that we shall 
make peace h : O let us therefore acquaint our- 
selves with thee, and be at peace, that thereby 
good may come unto us i. 

Heal us, and we shall be healed; save us, and we 
shall be saved: for thou art our praise k. Be 
not angry with us for ever, but revive us again, 
that thy people may rejoice in thee. Show us 
thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation /. 

(2.) That we mat/ be taken into covenant with 
God, and admitted into relation with him. \i[ 

Be thou to us a God, and take us to be td 
thee a people w, and make us a willing people 
in the day of thy power n. .. lo'.t h^- ♦ [ 

Though we are no more worthy to be called 

g Eph. ii. 13, 14, 16, 19. k Ua. xxvii. 4, 5. i Job kxii. 
21. k Jcr. xvii. 14. / Psalm Ixxxv. 5—7. m Heb.viii. 10. 
n Psalm ex. 3. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 63 

Petitions and Requests. 

thy children o; for how shouldst thou put us, 
that have been rebellious, among the children, 
and give us the pleasant land ? But thou hast 
said, that we shall call thee our Father, and not 
turn away from thee p. Shall we not therefore 
from this time cry unto thee, Our Father, thou 
art the guide of our youth q ? 

Lord, we take hold of thy covenant r; to thee 
we join ourselves in a perpetual covenant^*. O 
that thou wouldst cause us to pass under the 
rod 5, and bring us into the bond of the covenant, 
that we may become thine t 

Make with us an everlasting covenant, even 
the sure mercies of David w. 

(3.) That we may have the favour ofGody and 
an interest in his special love. 

We entreat thy favour, O God, with our whole 
hearts v; be merciful to us according to thy 
word, for in thy favour is life w, yea, thy loving 
kindness is better than life itself^. 

Lord, make thy face to shine upon us, and be 
gracious unto us; Lord, lift up the light of thy 
countenance upon us, and give us peace y. 

Remember us, O Lord, with the favour that 
thou bearest unto thy people: O visit us with 
thy salvation, that we may see the good of thy 
chosen, and may rejoice in the gladness of thy 
nation, and may glory wilh thine inheritance z. 

o Luke XV. 19. p Jer. iii. 19. — q iii. 4. r Isaiah Ivi. 4. 
j Jer. 1. 5, s Ezek. xx. 37. — / xvi. 8. u Isa. Iv. 3. v Psal. 

cxix. 58. to XXX. 5. x Ixiii. 3. ^ Numb. vi. 25, 26. 

z Psalm cvi. 4, 5. 



64. A METHOD CHAP. Ill, 

Petitions and Requests. 

,?- (4.) That we may have the blessing of God. i 

O God, be merciful to us, and bless us, and 
cause thy face to shine upon us; yea, let God, 
even our God, give us his blessing a, 
^y\ The Lord, that made heaven and earth, bless 
us out of Zion h; bless us with all spiritual bless- 
ings in heavenly things, by Christ Jesus c. 

O that thou wouldst bless us indeed d! Com- 
mand the blessing upon us, even life for ever- 
more e: for thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall 
be blessed f. 

Let us receive the blessing from the Lord, even 
righteousness from the God of our salvation g» 

Hast thou but one blessing ? Yea, thou hast 
many blessings: Bless us, even us also, O our 
Father h; yea, let the blessing of Abraham come 
upon us, which comes upon the Gentiles through 
faith i. And the blessing of Jacob; for we will 
not let thee go except thou bless us k. 

(5.) That we may have the presence of God with 
us. 

If thy presence go not up with us, carry us not 
up hence /; never leave us nor forsake us m. 

O cast us not away from thy presence, nor 
ever take thy Holy Spirit away from us n; but 
let us always dwell with the upright in thy pre- 
sence 0. 

■ : n 
a Psal. Ixvii. 1, 6 — b cxxxiv. 3. c Eph. i. 3. d I Chron. 
iv. 10. e Psalm cxxxiii. 3. /I Chron. xvii. 27. g Psalm 
xxiv. 5. /i Gen. xxvii. 38. t Gal. iii. 14?. ^ Gen. xxxii. 26. 
/ Exod. xxxiii. 15. m Heb. xiii. 5. n Psalm 11. 11. — 

ocxi. 13. ' •^■- 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 65 

Petitions and Requests. 

3. We must pray for the comfortable sense of our 
reconciliation to God, and our acceptance with him* 

(1.) That we may have some evidence of the 
pardon of our sins, and of our adoption, 

O make us to hear joy and gladness, that the 
bones which sin hath broken may rejoice p. 

Say unto each of us, Son, daughter, be of good 
cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee q. 

Let the blood of Christ, who through the eter- 
nal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, 
purge our conscience from dead works, to serve 
thee the living God r. 

Let thy Spirit witness with our spirit that we 
are the children of God ; and if children, then 
heirs 5 heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ j. 

Say unto our souls, that thou art our salva- 
tion s, 

(2.) Thai we may have a well-grounded peace 
of conscience, a holy security and serenity of mind, 
arising from a sense of our justification before God, 
and a good work wrought in us. 

The Lord of peace himself give us peace, all 
peace, always, by all means // that peace which 
Jesus Christ hath left with us, w^hich he gives 
to us ; such a peace as the world can neither give 
nor take away ; such a peace as that our hearts 
may not be troubled or afraid. 

Let the work of righteousness in our souls be 



p Psalm 11. 8. q Mat. ix. 2. r Heb. ix, H. j Rom. vii'. 
16, 17. s Psal. XXXV. 3. t 2 Thes. iil. 16. u John xiv. 27, 
6 1 



66 A METHOD CHAP. 111. 

Petitions and Requests. 

peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness, 
and assurance for ever v. 

Speak peace unto thy people, and to thy saints, 
and let them not turn again to folly *w. 

O create the fruit of the lips, peace, peace to 
them that are afar off, and to them that are nigh, 
and restore comfort to thy mourners a:. 

Where the sons of peace are, let thy peace find 
them out, and rest upon them y. 

Cause us to hear thy loving-kindness z^ and to 
taste that thou art gracious, for in thee do we 
trust a. 

Let the peace of God, which passeth all under- 
standing, keep our hearts and minds through 
Christ Jesus b ; and let that peace rule in our 
hearts, unto which we are called c. 

Now the God of hope fill us with all joy and 
peace in believing, that we may abound in hope 
through the power of the Holy Ghost d. 

3. We must pray for the grace ofGod^ and all 
the kind and powerful influences and operations of 
that grace. 

We come to the throne of grace, that we may 
obtain not only mercy to pardon, but grace to help 
in every time of need, grace for seasonable help e. 

From the fulness that is in Jesus Christy (in 
whom it pleased the Father that all fulness 
should dwell g^) let every one of us receive, and 
grace for grace. 

V Isa. xxxii. 17. w Psalm Ixxxv. 8. x Isa. Ivii. 18, 19. 
y Luke x. 6. z Psalm cxliii. 8. a 1 Peter il. 3. b Phil. 
iv. 7. c Col. iii. 15. d Rom. xv. 13. e Heb. iy. 16. /John 
1.16. gQo\.l\9, 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. Gj 



Petitions and Requests. 

1. We must pray for grace to fortify us against 
every evil thought^ word, and work. Having been 
earnest for the removing of the guilt of sin, that 
we may not die for it as a crime, we must be no 
less earnest for the breaking of the poxver of sin, 
that we may not die by it as a disease, but that it 
may be mortified in us. 

O let no iniquity have dominion over us, be- 
cause we are not under the law, but under grace//. 
Let the flesh be crucified in us, with its affec- 
tions and lusts ; that walking in the Spirit, we 
may not fulfil the lusts of the flesh i. 

Let our old man be crucified with Christ, that 
the body of sin may be destroyed, that hence- 
forth we may not serve sin ; and let not sin reign 
in our mortal bodies (in our immortal souls) that 
we should obey it in the lusts thereof. But be- 
ing made free from sin, let us become the ser- 
vants of righteousness k. 

Let the law of the Spirit of life, which is in 
Christ Jesus, make us free from the law of sin 
and death /. 

Give us grace to put off the old man, which is 
corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, that we 
may put on the new man, which after God is cre- 
ated in righteousness and true holiness m. 

That the world may be crucified to us, and we 
to the world, by the cross of Christ n. 

A7id that the temptations of Satan may not over- 
take us, 

h Rom. vi. 14. i Gal. v;. 16, 24. k Rom. v. 6, 12, 18, 
/ Rora. viii. 2. m Eph. iv. 22, 24'. n Gal. vi. H. 



68 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 



1 



» *<««x«^ v% w**^********^******^********^ %*****> 



We pray that we may not enter into tempta- 
tion : or, however, that no temptation may take 
us, but such as is common to men, and let the 
faithful God never suffer us to be tempted above 
what we are able, but with the temptation make 
way for us to escape p. 

Put upon us the whole armour of God, that 
we may be able to stand against the wiles of the 
devil, to withstand in the evil day ; and having 
done all, to stand ; let our loins be girt about 
with truth, put on us the breast-plate of righte- 
ousness, and let our feet be shod with the prepa- 
ration of the gospel of peace. Give us the shield 
of faith, wherewith we may quench all the fiery 
darts of the wicked; and the helmet of salvation; 
and let the sword of the Spirit, which is the word 
of God, be always ready to us q. 

Enable us so to resist the devil r, as that he 
may fly from us : to resist him stedfast in the 
faith s. And the God of peace tread Satan un- 
der our feet, and do it shortly L 

2. TVe must pray for grace to furnish us for 
every good thought^ word, and work, that we may 
not only be kept from sin, hut may be in every thing 
as we should be, and do as we should do. 

Let Christ be made of God to us, not only 
righteousness, but wisdom, sanctification, and re- 
demption u. 

Let us be planted together in the likeness of 
Christ's death and resurrection, that as he was 

o Mat. xxvi. 4-1. p 1 Cor. x. 13. q Eph. vi. 11, 13, 14, 
15,16,17. rJamesiv. 7. s 1 Pet. v. 9. ^ Rora. xvi. 20. 
u 1 Cor. i. 30. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 69 

Petitions and Requests. 

raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, 
so we also may walk in newness of life v. 

(1.) That the 'work of grace may be wrought 
there where it is not yet begun. 

Lord, teach transgressors thy ways, and let sin- 
ners be converted unto thee w : and let the dis- 
obedient be turned to the wisdom of the just, and 
make ready a people prepared for the Lord .r. 

Let those be quickened that are yet dead in 
trespasses and sins y; say unto them, Live ; yea, 
say unto them, Live, and the time shall be a time 
of love z. 

Open their eyes, and turn them from darkness 
to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, 
that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an 
inheritance among them who are sanctified a. 

By the blood of the covenant, send forth the 
prisoners out of the pit in which is no water, 
that they may turn to the strong hold as prison- 
ers of hope b. 

Let the word of God prevail to the pulling 
down of strong holds, and the casting down of 
imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth 
itself against the knowledge of God, and let every 
thought be brought into obedience to Christ c, 

(2.) Thai where it is begun, it may be carried 
on^ and at length perfected, and the foundation that 
is well laid may be happily built upon. 

V Rom. vi. 5. w Psalm If. 13. x Luke i. 17. y Epb. ii. 1. 
z Ezek. xvi. 6, 8. a Acts xxvi. 18. b Zecli. ix. U, 12. 
c 2 Cor. X. 5. 



70 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Fulfil in US all the good pleasure of thy good- 
ness, and the work of faith with power d. 

Let the God that has begun a good work in 
us, perform it unto the day of Christ e. 

Perfect, O God, that which concerns us. Thy 
mercy, O Lord, endures for ever ; forsake not the 
work of thine own hands/. 

Lord, let thy grace be sufficient for us, and let 
thy strength be made perfect in weakness, that 
where we are weak, there we may be strong g: 
strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might h. 

More particularly we must pray for grace: 

(1.) To teach and instruct us^ and make m 
knowing and intelligent in the things of God. 

Give us so to cry after knowledge, and lift up 
our voice for understanding, to seek for it as sil- 
ver, and to search for it as for hid treasure, that 
we may understand the fear of the Lord, and 
find the knowledge of God i. 

Give us all to know thee, from the least even 
to the greatest k^ and to follow on to know 
thee // and so to know thee, the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, as may 
be life eternal to us m> 

Give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in 
the knowledge of Christ, that the eyes of our 
understanding being enlightened, we may know 
what is the hope of his calling, and what the 
riches of the glory of his inheritance in the 

d 2 Thess i. 1 1. e Phil. i. 6. /Psalm cxxxviii. 8. 

g 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10. h Eph. vi. 10. i Prov. ii. 3, 4, 5. 

k Heb. viii. 11. / Hosea vi. 3. 7n John xvii. 3. 



1 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 7 1 

Petitions and Requests. 

saints, and may experience what is the exceeding 
greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, 
according to the working of his mighty power n. 

Open thou our eyes, that we may see the won- 
drous things of thy law and gospel o. 

Give us to know the certainty of those things 
wherein we have been instructed ; and let our 
knowledge grow up to all riches of the full assur- 
ance of understanding, to the acknowledgment 
of the mystery of God, even of the Father and of 
Christ jp. 

Deal with thy servants according to thy mercy, 
and teach us thy statutes. We are thy servants, 
give us understanding, that we may know thy 
testimonies. Let our cry come before thee, O 
Lord J give us understanding according to thy 
word qy that good understanding which they have 
that do thy commandments, whose praise endur- 
eth for ever r. 

(2.) To lead us into, and keep us in the "way of 
truth; and if in any thing we be in an errors to rec- 
tify our mistake. 

Let the Spirit of truth guide us into all truth 7, 
and cause us to understand wherein we have 
erred s. 

That which we see not teach thou us /, and 
enable us so to prove all things, as to hold fast 
that which is good u. 

Lord, grant that we may not be as children, 

n Eph. i. 17, 18, 19. o Psalm cxix. 18. p Luke i. 4. 

q Psalm cxix. 124, 125, 169. r cxi. 10. J John xvi. 13. 

s Job vi. 24 — t xxxiv. 32. u I Thes. v. 21. 



^ 



72 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

tossed too and fro, and carried about with every 
wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men; but speak- 
ing the truth in love, may grow up into Christ in 
all things, who is the head v. 

Lord, give us so to do thy will, as that we may 
know of the doctrine whether it be of God tr, and 
so to know the truth, as that the truth may make 
us free, may make us free indeed a:. 

Enable us, we pray thee, to hold fast the form 
of sound words, which we have heard, in faith and 
love which is in Christ Jesus ^, and to continue 
in the things which we have learned and been as- 
sured of z. 

(3.) To help our memories^ that the truths of God 
may he ready to us whenever we have occasion to 
use them. 

Lord, let thy Spirit teach us all things, and bring 
all things to our remembrance whatsoever thou 
hast said unto us a; that the word of Christ may 
dwell richly in us, in all wisdom and spiritual un- 
derstanding h. 

Lord, grant that we may give a more earnest 
heed to the things which we have heard, lest at 
any time we let them slip, and may keep in mem- 
ory what hath been preached to us, and may not 
believe in vain c. 

Lord, make us ready and mighty in the Scrip- 
tures, that we may be perfect, thoroughly fur- 
nished unto all good works d, and being well 

V Eph. iv. H, 15. w John vii. 17. x viii. 32, 36. 

y 2 Tim. i. 13 z iii. 14. a John xiv. 26. b Col. ill. 16. 

c Heb. ii. 1. d Acts xviii. 29. 2 Tim. iii. 17. 



CHAP. ni. FOR PRAYER. 73 

Petitions and Requests. 

instructed into the kingdom of heaven, may, as 
the good householder, bring out of our treasure 
things new and old e, 

(4.) To direct our consciences, to show us the 
way of our duly, and to mahe us wise, knowings 
andjudiciotis Christians, 

Lord, give us a wise and an understanding 
hearty that wisdom, which, in all cases, is pro- 
fitable to direct g; that wisdom of the prudent, 
which is to understand his way h. 

This we pray, that our love may abound yet 
more and more, in knowledge, and in all judg- 
ment, that we may discern things that differ, and 
may approve things that are excellent ; that we 
may be sincere, and without offence, unto the 
day of Christ, and may be filled with the fruits 
of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto 
the glory and praise of God i, 

O that we may be filled with the knowledge of 
thy will in all wisdom and spiritual understand- 
ing; that we may walk worthy of God unto all- 
pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and 
increasing in the knowledge of God k. 

Teach us thy way, O God, and lead us in a 
plain path, because of our observers /. 

When we know not what to do, our eyes are 
up unto thee m: Then let us hear the word be- 
hind us, saying. This is the way, walk in it, that 
we turn not to the right hand or to the left n. 



e Mat. xiii. 52. / 1 Kings iii. 9. g Eccl. x. 10. h Prov. 
xiv.a i Phil. i. 9, 10, 11. k Col. i. 9, 10. / Psalm xxvii. 
11. m 2 Chron. XX. 12. ?« Isa. xxx. 21. 
3 K 



74 A METHOD CHAP, III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Order our steps in thy word, and let no ini- 
quity have dominion over us o. 

(5.) To sanctify our nature^ to plant in us all 
holy principles and dispositions^ and to increase 
every grace in us. 

The very God of peace sanctify us wholly, and 
we pray God our whole spirit, and soul, and body, 
may be preserved blameless unto the coming of 
our Lord Jesus Christ; for faithful is he that 
calleth, who also will do it p. 

Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew 
a right spirit within us; cast us not away from 
thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit away 
from us; restore unto us the joy of thy salvation, 
and uphold us with thy free Spirit q. 

Write thy law in our hearts, and put it in our 
inward part r, that we may be the epistles of 
Christ, written by the Spirit of the living God, 
not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the 
heart j; that the law of our God being in our 
heart, none of our steps may slide 5, and we may 
delight to do thy will, O God f, may delight in 
the law of God after the inward man u, 

O that we may obey from the heart that form 
of doctrine into which we desire to be delivered, 
as into a mould, that our whole souls may be 
leavened by it V; and that we may not be con- 
formed to this world, but transformed by the re- 
newing of our minds w; may not fashion ourselves 
after our former lusts in our ignorance, but as 

o Psalm cxix. 133. p\ Thee. v. 23, 24. q Psalm li. 10, II, 
12. r Heb. viii. 10. j 2 Cor. iii. 3. s Psalm xxxvii. 31. 
t Psalm xl. 8. u Rom. vii. 22. — v vi. 17. — w xii. 2. 



CHAP. in. FOR PRAYER. 7^' 

Petitions and Requests. 



*/»*^%^**** %» ^ 



I 



obedient children, may be holy in all manner of 
conversation, as he who hath called us is holy .r. 

(1.) We mustpray for faith. 

Unto us (Lord) let it be given to believe z: 
for the faith by which we are saved, is not of 
ourselves, it is the gift of God a. 

Lord, increase our faith b, and perfect what 
is lacking in it c, that we may be strong in faith, 
giving glory to God d. 

Lord, give us so to be crucified with Christ, 
as that the life we now live in the flesh, we may 
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved 
us, and gave himself for us e: and so to bear 
about with us continually the dying of the Lord 
Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be mani- 
fested in our mortal bodies^^ 

As we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, 
enable us so to walk in him, rooted and built up in 
him, and established in the faith, as we have been 
taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving g. 

Let every word of thine profit us, being mixed 
with faith //, by which we receive thy testimony, 
and set to our seal that God is true i. 

We beseech thee, work in us that faith which 
is the substance of things hoped for, and the evi- 
dence of things not seen ky by which we may look 
above the things that are seen, which are tem- 



X 1 Pet. i. 14, 15. z Phil. i. 29. a Eph. ii. 8. h Luke 
xvii.5. c 1 Thes. iii. 10. d Rom. iv. 20. j e Gal.ii. 20. 
/2 Cor. iv. 10. g Col. ii. 6, 7. h Heb. iv. 2. i John iii. 33. 
k Heb. xi. 1. 



76 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

poral, and may look at the things that are not 
seen, which are eternal /. 

Enable us by faith to set the Lord always be- 
fore us »2, and to have our eyes ever towards 
him n who is invisible, having a respect to the 
recompence of reward o. 

Let our hearts be purified by faith p^ and let 
it be our victory that overcometh the world q. 
And let us be kept from fainting, by believing 
that we shall see the goodness of the Lord in the 
land of the living r. 

(2.) We must pray for the fear of God. 

Lord, work in us that fear of thee which is the 
beginning of wisdom J, which is the instruction 
of wisdom, and which is a fountain of life 5, to 
depart from the snares of death /. 

Unite our hearts to fear thy name w, that we 
may keep thy commandments, which is the whole 
duty of man v. 

put thy fear into our hearts, that we may 
never depart from thee w. Let us all be devoted 
to thy fear x; and let us be in the fear of the 
Lord every day, and all the day long y. 

(3.) We must pray that the love of God and 
Christ may be rooted in us; and in order thereunto^ 
that the love of the xoorld may he rooted out of us. 

Give us grace (we beseech thee) to love thee, 
the Lord our God, with all our heart and soul, 

1 2 Cor. iv. 18. m Psalm xvi. 8 — n xxv. 15. o Heb. 
xi. 26, 27. p Acts xv. 9. g I John v. 4. r Psal. xxvii. 
13. j Prov. i. 7 — s XV. 33. — t xiv. 27. u Psalm Ixxxvi. 
11. V Eccl. xii. 13. la Jer. xxxii. 40. x Psalm cxix. 38. 
1/ Prov.xxiii. 17. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 77 

Petitions and Requests. 



and mind and might, which is the first and great 
commandment z; to set our love upon thee «, 
and to delight ourselves always in thee; and there- 
in we shall have the desire of our heart b. 

Circumcise our hearts to love the Lord our 
God with all our heart, and with all our soul, 
that we may live c. 

O that the love of God may be shed abroad in 
our hearts by the Holy Ghost d, 

O that Jesus Christ may be very precious to us, 
as he is to all that believe e; that he may be in 
our account the chiefest among ten thousand, and 
altogether lovely; and that he may be our beloved 
and our friend// that though we have not seen 
him, yet we may love him ; and though now we 
see him not, yet believing, we may rejoice with 
joy unspeakable and full of glory g. 

Let the love of Christ to us, constrain us to 
live, not to ourselves, but to him that died for 
us, and rose again h. 

And, Lord, grant that we may not love the 
world, nor the things that are in the world ; be- 
cause, if any man love the world, the love of the 
Father is not in him i. That we may set our af- 
fections on things above, and not on things that 
are on the earth k, 

(4.) We must pray that our consciences may be 
always tender , and that we may live a life oj repen- 
tance, 

z Mat. xxii. 37. a Psalm xci. 14. — h xxxvii. 4. c Deut. 
XXX. 6. d Rono. v. 5. el Pet. ii. 7. /Song v. 10, 16. 
g 1 Pet. i. 8. h2 Cor. v. I*, 15. ii Johnii. 15. k Col. 
iii. 2. 



78 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Lord, take away the stony heart out of our 
flesh, and give us a heart of flesh k. 

Make us afraid of all appearance of evil /, and 
careful not to give Satan advantage against us, 
as being not ignorant of his devices m» 

Lord, give us the happiness which they have 
that fear always n; that when we think we stand, 
we may take heed lest we fall o. 

(5.) We must pray to God to work in us charity 
and brotherly love. 

Lord, put in us that charity which is the bond 
of perfectness p; that we may keep the unity of 
the Spirit in the bond of peace q; and may live 
in love and peace, that the God of love and peace 
may be with us r. 

Lord, give us to love our neighbour as our- 
selves, with that love which is the fulfilling of 
the law j; to love one another with a pure heart, 
fervently 5, that hereby all men may know that 
we are Christ's disciples t. 

And as we are taught of God to love one ano- 
ther, give us to abound therein more and more u; 
and, as we have opportunity, to do good to all 
men v; and, as much as in us lies, to live peace- 
ably with all men w, always following after the 
things that make for peace, and things where- 
with one may edify another a:, 

k Ezek. xi. 19. l\ Thes. v. 22. m 2 Cor. ii. 11 . 

n Prov. xxviii. 14. o 1 Cor. x. 12. p Col. iii. 14, q Epb. 
iv. 3. r 2 Cor. xiii. 11. j Rom. xiii. 9, 10. si Pet. 22. 
t John xiii. 35. u 1 Thes. iv. 9, 10. v Gal. vi. 10. 

10 Rom. xii. 18. — x xiv. 19. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. • 79 

Petitions and Requests. 

Lord, make us able to love our enemies, to 
bless them that curse us, to pray for them that 
despitefully use us, and to do good to them that 
hate us 2/, forbearing one another, and forgiving 
one another in love, as Christ forgave us z. 

(6.) We must pra^ for the grace of self-denial. 

Lord, give us grace to deny ourselves, to take 
up our cross daily, and to follow Christ a; to keep 
under the body, and bring it into subjection h. 

Lord, keep us from being lovers of our own- 
selves c, from being wise in our own conceit, and 
leaning to our own understanding d. 

Lord, give us to seek not our own only, but 
every one his brother's welfare e. 

And grant that none of us may live to our- 
selves, or die to ourselves; but whether we live 
or die, we may be the Lord's, and may live and 
die to himj^ 

ry.) We must pray Jor humility and meekness. 

Lord, give us all to learn of Christ to be meek 
and lowly in heart, that we may find rest to our 
souls g; and that herein the same mind may be 
in us that was also in Christ Jesus h. d 

Lord, hide pride from us /, and clothe us with 
humility, and put upon us the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit, which in thy sight is of 
great price k. 

Lord, give us grace, to walk worthy of the vo- 
cation wherewith we are called, with all lowliness, 

y Mat. V. 44. z Col. iii. 1 2. a Mat. xvi. 24. h 1 Cor. 
ix. 27. c 2 Tim. iii. 2. d Prov. iii. 5, 7. e\ Cor. x. 24. 
/ Rom. xiv. 7, 8. g Mat. xi. 29. h Phil. ii. 5. i Job 
xxxiii. 17. ^1 Per. v. 5. & iii, 4. 



80 • A METHOD CHAP. HI. 

Petitions and Requests. 

and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one 
another in love /. 

Let anger never rest in our bosoms w, nor 
the sun ever go down upon our wrath n; but en- 
able us to show all meekness towards all men, be- 
cause we ourselves also were sometimes foolish 
and disobedient o. 

Let us be clothed as becomes the elect of 
God, holy and beloved, with bowels of mercies, 
kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and 
long-suffering^, that being merciful as our Fa- 
ther which is in heaven is merciful ^, we may be 
perfect as he is perfect r. 

(8.) We must pray for the grace of contentment 
and 'patience^ and a holy indifferency to all the 
things of sense and time. 

Lord, teach us, whatsoever state we are in, 
therewith to be content ; let us know both how 
to be abased, and how to abound ; every where, 
and in all things, let us be instructed both to be 
full and to be hungry, both to abound and to 
suffer needj; and let godliness with contentment 
be great gain to us s; for a little, with the fear 
of the Lord and quietness, is better than great 
treasure and trouble therewith t. 

Lord, grant that our conversation may be 
without covetousness, and that we may always be 
content with such things as we have w; still say- 
ing, the will of the Lord be done t\ 

/Eph. iv. 1,2. mEccJ. vii. 8. w Epb. iv. 26. o Titus 
iii. 2, 3. p Col. iii. 12. q Luke vi. 36. r Mat. v. 48. 
j Phil. iv. 1 1, 12. s 1 Tim. vi. 6. / Prov. xv. 16. xvii. 1. 

u Heb. xiii. 5. v Acts xxi. 14. 



k 



CHAP. Itl. FOR PRAYER. 81 

Petitions and Requests. 

Enable us in patience to possess our own 
souls w: And let patience always have its per- 
fect work, that we may be perfect and entire, 
wanting nothing cV. 

Lord, give us grace to weep as though we wept 
not, and to rejoice as though we rejoiced not, 
and to buy as though we possessed not, and to 
use this world as not abusing it, because the time 
is short, and the fashion of this world passeth 
away i/, 

(9.) We must pray for the grace of hope: a hope 
in God and Christ, and a hope of eternal life. 

Let patience work experience in us, and ex- 
perience hope, such a hope as maketh not asham- 
ed z» Through patience and comfort of the 
scriptures a let us have hope, and be saved by 
hope b. 

Let the God of Jacob be our help, and our 
hope always be in the Lord our God c. 

Let us be begotten again to a lively hope by 
the resurrection of Jesus Christ J, and let that 
hope be to us as an anchor of the soul, sure and 
stedfast, entering into that within the vail, whi- 
ther the Forerunner is for us entered e. 

Let us have Christ in us the hope of glory, and 
never be moved away from that hope of the gos- 
pel/; but enable us to give diligence unto the 
the full assurance of hope unto the end g. 

w Luke xxi. 19. x James i. 4. y i Cor. vii. 29, 30, 31. 
z Rom. V. 4", 5. — a xv. 4 — h viii. 24-. c Psalm cxivi. 5. 

d 1 Pet.i. 3. e Heb.vi. 19, 20. /Col.i.23, 27. g Heb. 
vi. 11. 

3 L 



82 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

6. We must pray for grace to preserve us from 
sin, and all appearance of it^ and approaches to- 
wards it. 

Now we pray to God, that we may do no evil h, 
but may be blameless and harmless as the chil- 
dren of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a 
crooked and perverse generation i. 

Turn away our eyes from beholding vanity, 
and quicken thou us in thy way : remove from 
us the way of lying, and grant us thy law gra- 
ciously k. 

Incline not our hearts to any evil thing, to 
practise wicked works with them that work ini- 
quity, and let us not eat of their dainties /. 

O cleanse us from secret faults, keep back thy 
servants also from presumptuous sins ; let them 
not have dominion over us, but let us be upright, 
and innocent from the great transgression m; and 
grant that hereby we may prove ourselves up- 
right before thee, by keeping ourselves from our 
own iniquity n. 

Let thy word be hid in our hearts, that we may 
not sin against thee o; and let thy grace be at all 
times sufficient for us^, ready to us, and mighty 
in us, and never give us up to our own hearts* 
lust, to walk in our own counsels q. 

Enable us to walk circumspectly, not as fools, 
but as wise r, so circumspectly that we may cut 
ofFoccasion from them which desire occasionj to 
blaspheme that worthy name by which we are 

h 2 Cor. xiii. 7. i Phil. ii. 15. k Psalm cxix. 37, 29. 

I cxii. 4-. — m xix. 12, 13. — n xviii. 23. — o cxix. 11. p 2 Cor. 
xii. 9. q Psalm Ixxxi. 12. r Eph. v. 15. j2 Cor. xi. 12. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 83 

Petitions and Requests. 

called s, and with well-doing may put to silence 
the ignorance of foolish men t, and may adorn 
the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things u. 
7. TVe must pray for grace to enable us both to 
govern our tongues well, and to use them well. 

Lord, enable us to take heed to our ways, that 
we offend not with our tongue, and to keep our 
mouth, as it were with a bridle v, that it may not 
be hasty to utter any thing w. 

Set a watch, O Lord, before our mouth cT, keep 
the door of our lips, that we may not offend in 
word y. 

Let our speech be always with grace, seasoned 
with salt z, and enable us always, out of the good 
treasure of our heart, to bring forth good things a. 
Let our mouth speak wisdom, and our tongue 
talk of judgment b; and let not thy words depart 
out of our mouth, nor out of the mouth of our seed, 
or our seed's seed, from henceforth and for ever c. 

Enable us always to open our mouth with wis- 
dom, and let the law of kindness be in our tongue d. 
Give us to know what is acceptable e, that our 
tongue may be as choice silver, and our lips may 
feed many f. 

8. We must pray for grace to direct and quicken 
us to, and strengthen us in, our duty, in the whole 
course of our cojiversation. 

Let the grace of God, which hath appeared to 

8 James ii. 7. t 1 Pet. ii. 15. u Titus ii. 10. v Psalm 
xxxix. 1. w Eccl. V. 2. x Psalm cxli. 3. y James ii-. 2. 
z Col iv. 6. a Mat. xii. 35. h Psalm xxxvii. 30. c Isa. 
lix. 21. d Prov. xxxi. 26.— e x. 32.— /x. 20, 21. 



84 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

us, and to all men, bringing salvation, effectually 
teach us to deny all ungodliness and worldly 
fleshly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and 
godly in this present world, looking for the blessed 
hope, and the glorious appearance of the great 
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave 
himself for us, that he might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar peo- 
ple, zealous of good works g, 

(1.) That we may he prudent and discreet in our 
duty. 

Thou hast said, if any man lack wisdom, he 
must ask it of God, who gives to all men liber- 
ally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given 
him h. Lord, we want wisdom, make us wise as 
serpents, and harmless as doves f, that wisdom 
may make our face to shine A, and may be bet- 
ter to us than weapons of war. 

Enable us to walk in wisdom towards them that 
are without, redeeming the time /. 

Give us to order all our affairs with discretion, 
^and to behave ourselves wisely, in a perfect way, 
with a perfect heart m. 

(2.) That we may be honest and sincere in our 
duty. 

Let our wisdom be not that from beneath, 
which is earthly, sensual, devilish; but wisdom from 
above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, 
and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good 
fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy n. 

g Titus ii. 11, 12, 13, 14. h James i. 5. i Mat. x. 16. 
k Eccl. viii. 1. & ix. 18. I Col. iv. 5. m Psalm ci. 2. cxii. 5. 
n James iii. 15, 17. 



CHAP. Iir, FOR PRAYER. 85 

Petitions and Requests. 

O that we may always have our conversation in 
the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not 
with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God o. 

Lord, uphold us in our integrity, and set us 
before thy face for ever^, and let integrity and 
uprightness preserve us, for we wait on thee q. 

Let our hearts be sound in thy statutes, that 
we be not ashamed r; and let our eye be single, 
that our whole body may be full of light j. 

(3.) That we may be active and diligent in our 
duty. 

Lord, quicken us to work the works of him 
that sent us while it is day, because the night 
cometh wherein no man can work s; and what 
good our hands find to do, enable us to do it with 
all our might, because there is no work nor know- 
ledge in the grave, whither we are going /. 

Lord, grant that we may never be slothful in 
any good business, but fervent in spirit, serving 
the Lord w; stedfast and unmoveable, always 
abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch 
as we know that our labour is not in vain in the 
Lord V. 

Lord, make us zealously affected in every good 
work w; and what we do, enable us to do it hear- 
tily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men x. 

Lord, enable us to do the work of every day 
in its day, according as the duty of the day re- 
quires y, redeeming the time, because the days 

o 2 Cor. i. 12. p Psalm xli. 12 q xxv. 21. r cxix. 

80. j Mat. vi. 22. * John ix. 4. t Eccl. ix. 10. u Rom. 
xii. 11. V \ Cor. xv. 5^, w Gal. iv. 18. x Col. iii. 23. 
y Ezra iii. 4. 



86 A METHOD CHAP, III, 

Petitions and Requests. 

are evil z, that when our Lord comes he may 
find us so doing a. 

(4.) That we may he resolute and courageous in 
our dutijy as those that know, that though we may 
he losers for Christy we shall not he losers hy him 
in the end. 

Lord, teach us to endure hardness as good 
soldiers of Jesus Christ hy that we may not fear 
the reproach of men c, or their revilings, nor be 
ashamed of Christ, or of his words d, knowing 
whom we have believed, even one who is able to 
keep what we have committed to him against that 
day e. 

Though bonds and afflictions should abide us. 
Lord, grant that none of these things may move 
us, and that we may not count life itself dear to 
us, so we may finish our course with joy/. 

Enable us in all things to approve ourselves 
to God, and then to pass by honour and dishon- 
our, by evil report and good report, clad with 
the armour of righteousness on the right hand 
and on the left^, as those that account it a very 
small thing to be judged of man's judgment, for 
he that judgeth us is the Lord h, 

(5.) That we may he pleasant and cheerful in 
our duty. 

Lord, enable us to rejoice evermore, to rejoice 
in the Lord always i; because he hath again said 
unto us, rejoice k; that we may go on our way re- 

z £ph. V. 16. a Luke xii. 43. b 2 Tim. ii. 3. c Isaiah 
li.7. c? Mark viii. 38. 6 2Tim. i. 12. / Acts xx. 23, 24. 
ff 2 Cor. vi. 4, 7, 8. A 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. i 1 Thes. v. 16. 

k Phil. iv. 4. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 87 

Petitions and Requests. 



«%««'««« 



joicing /, may eat our bread with joy, and drink 
our wine with a merry heart, as we shall have 
reason to do, if God now accepteth of our worksw?. 

Give us grace to serve thee, the Lord our God, 
with joyfulness and gladness of heart, in the abun- 
dance of all things n; and to sing in the ways 
of the Lord, because great is the glory of our 
God 0. 

Let us have that cheerfulness of heart which 
doth good like a medicine^; and deliver us from 
that heaviness which maketh the heart stoop q^ 
and that sorrow of the world, which worketh 
death r. 

(6.) That we may do the duty of every condition 
of life, every event of providence , and every rela- 
tion wherein we stand. 

Lord, enable us in a day of prosperity to be 
joyful, and in a day of adversity to consider, be- 
cause God hath set the one over against the 
other j; to add to our knowledge temperance, 
and to temperance patience s. 

Give us grace to abide with thee in the calling 
wherein we are called /; and in all our ways to 
acknowledge thee ; and be thou pleased to direct 
our steps u. 

Let those that are called, being servants, be 
the Lord's free men ; and those that are called, 
being free, be Christ's servants v. 

I Acts viii. 39. 'm Eccl ix. 7. n Deut. xxviii. 47. 

o Psalm cxxxviii. 5. p Prov. xvii. 22. g Prov. xii. 25. 

r 2 Cor. vii. 10. j Eccl. vii. 14. s2 Pet. i. 6, ^1 Cor. 
vii. 24. u Prov. iii. 6. v 1 Cor. vii. 21. 



88 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Let all in every relation dwell together in 
unity, that it may be as the dew of Hermon, and 
as the dew that descendeth upon the mountains 
of Zion w, O that we may dwell together as 
joint heirs of the grace of life, that our prayers 
may not be hindered a;. 

Give us grace to honour all men, to love the 
brotherhood, to fear God //, and to be subject to 
the higher powers, not only for wrath but also 
for conscience* sake z» 

(7.) That we may he universally conscientious, 

O that we may stand perfect and complete in 
all the will of God a, 

O that our ways were directed to keep thy 
commandments. And then shall we not be 
ashamed when we have respect to them all b. 

Teach us, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, 
and we shall keep it unto the end. Give us un- 
derstanding, and we shall keep thy law, yea, we 
shall observe it with our whole heart. Make us 
to go in the path of thy commandments, for 
therein we do delight. Incline our hearts unto 
thy testimonies, and not to covetousness c. 

Grant us, we pray thee, according to the riches 

of thy glory, that we may be strengthened with 

all might by thy Spirit in the inward man: that 

Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, and 

that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may 

be able to comprehend with all saints, what is 

the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, 

w Psalm cxxxiii. 1,3. a- I Pet. iii. 7 — y ii. 17- z Rom. 
xiii. 1,5. a Col. iv. 12. b Psalm cxix. 5, 6 — c cxix. S3, 
34, 35, 36. 



CHAP. Iir. FOR PRAYER. 89 

Petitions and Requests. 



^/VVk^^'VW^^V* ♦»■•**« 



and may know the love of Christ, which passeth 
knowledge, and be filled with a divine fulness e/, 
and may partake of a divine nature e. 

And let the love of Christ constrain us to live, 
not to ourselves, but to him that died for us, and 
rose again f. 

(8.) We must pray Jor grace to make us "wiser 
and better every day than another. 

Lord, give us to increase with the increase of 
Godig; to grow in grace and in the knowledge of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ h; to hold on 
our way, and having clean hands, to grow stronger 
and stronger i. 

Let our path be as the shining light, that 
shineth more and more unto the perfect day k. 

We have not yet attained, nor are we already 
perfect : Lord, grant, that therefore forgetting 
the things which are behind, we may reach forth 
to those things which are before, for the prize of 
the high calling of God in Christ Jesus /. 

Be thou as the dew unto us, that we may 
grow as the lily, and cast forth our roots as 
Lebanon ; that our branches may spread, and 
our beauty be as the olive tree m. And let the 
Sun of Righteousness arise upon us with healing 
under his wings, that we may go forth and grow 
up as calves of the stall n, 

r9.) We must pray Jor effectual support and 
comfort under all the crosses and afflictions that we 
meet xvith in this world. 

rfEph.iii. 16. 17, 18, 19. e 2 Pet. i. 4. / 2 Cor, v. 14, 15. 
gCo\.'\ul9. A2Pet.iii.l8. iJobxvii.9. A Prov. iv. 18. 
/ Phil.iii. 12, 13, Ik m Hosea xiv.5,6. n Mal.iv.2. 
3 M 



!tI 



90 A METHOD CHAP. Ill 

Petitions and Requests. 

We know that we are born to trouble as the 
sparks fly upward : but in six troubles be thou 
pleased to deliver us, and in seven let no evil 
touch us 0. 

Let the eternal God be our refuge, and un- 
derneath us be thy everlasting arms p, that the 
spirit thou hast made may not fail before thee, 
nor the soul that thou hast redeemed q. 

Let us be strengthened with all might, accor- 
ding to thy glorious power, unto all patience and 
long-suffering with joyfulness r. 

Let thy statutes be our songs in the house of 
our pilgrimage ; and let thy testimonies, which 
we have taken as a heritage for ever, be always 
the rejoicing of our hearts j. 

When we are troubled on every side, yet let 
us not be distressed, and when we are perplexed, 
let us not be in despair s; but as sorrowful, and 
yet always rejoicing ; as having nothing, and yet 
possessing all things t, 

10. TVe must prat/ for grace to preserve us to 
the endf and to Jit us for whatever lies before us 
betwixt this and the grave. 

Lord, deliver us from every evil work, and 
preserve us to thy heavenly kingdom w, being 
kept from falling, that we may be presented fault- 
less at the coming of thy glory with exceeding 
joy t;. 

Lord, make us to increase and abound in love 

o Job V. 7, 19. p Deut. xxxiii. 27. q Isa. Ivii. 16. 

rCol.i. II. y Psalm cxix. 54, 1 1 1 . «2Cor.iv.8 <vi. 10. 

u STim.iv. 18. r Jude 24. 



ii 



CHAP. ril. FOR PRAYER. 91 

Petitions and Requests. 

one towards another, and towards all men, that 
our hearts may be established unblameable in ho- 
liness before God, even our Father, at the com- 
ing of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints w. 

If Satan desire to have us that he may sift us 
as wheat, yet let Christ's intercession prevail for 
us, that our faith fail not a:. 

Till we are taken out of the world, let us be 
kept from the evil, and sanctified through thy 
truth ; thy word is truth 3/. 

Build us up, we pray thee, in our most holy 
faith, and keep us in the love of God, looking 
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eter- 
nal life z. 

Grant that we may continue to call upon thee 
as long as we live a, and, till we die, may never 
remove our integrity from us : And that our 
righteousness we may hold fast, and never let it 
go, and our hearts may not reproach us so long 
as we live b, 

1 L TVe must pray for grace to prepare us for 
death, and to carry us well through our dying mo- 
ments. 

Lord, make us to know our end, and the mea- 
sure of our days, what it is, that we may know 
and consider how frail we are ; and that our days 
are as an handbreadth, and that every man, at 
his best state, is altogether vanity c, and our days 
upon earth are as a shadow, and there is no abid- 
ing d. 

to 1 Thes.iii. 12, 13. x Luke xxii. 31, 32. ^"John xvii. 
15, 17. z Jude 20, 21. a Psalm cxvi. 2. b Job xxvii. 5, 6. 
c Psalm xxxix. 4, 5. d I Chron. xxix. 15. 



3 



92 A METHOD CHAP. Ill 

Petitions and RequeBts. 

Lord, teach us so to number our days, that we 
may apply our hearts unto wisdom e, and make 
us to consider our latter end f. 

Lord, make us always ready, with our loins 
girded about, and our light burning, because the 
Son of man comes at an hour that we think notg*. 

Keep us all the days of our appointed time, 
waiting till our change comes, and then shalt 
thou call, and we will answer h. 

Bring us to our grave as a shock of corn in its 
season i; satisfy us with life, whether it be longer 
or shorter, show us thy salvation k. 

And when we walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death, be thou with us, that we may 
fear no evil; let thy rod and thy staft'comfort us L 

Let goodness and mercy follow us all the days 
of our life, and let us dwell in the house of the 
Lord for ever m. Mercy and truth be with us n. 

Redeem our souls from the power of the grave, 
and receive us o. Guide us by thy counsel, and 
afterwards receive us to glory p, 

12. We must pray for grace to Jit us for he a- 
veriy and ihatxve may at length be put in possession 
of eternal life. 

Lord, make us meet to partake of the inherit- 
ance of the saints in light q; let God himself 
work us to the self same thing, and give us the 
earnest of the Spirit in our hearts r. 



e Psalm xc. 12. / Deut. xxxii. 29. g Luke xii. 35, 40. 

h Job xiv. 14-, 15. i v. 26. k Psalm xci. 16. 1 xxiii. 4. 

?w Psalm xxiii. 6. w 2 Sam. xv. 20. o Psalm xlix. 15. 

p Psalm Ixxliii. 24. q Col i. 12. r 2 Cor. v. 5. 



CHAP. III. FOR PRAYER. 93 

Petitions and Requests. 

O that we may now have our conversation in 
heaven, that we may from thence, with comfort, 
look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, who shall 
change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned 
like unto his glorious body /. 

O that we may set our aflPections on things 
that are above, and that our life may be hid with 
Christ in God, that when Christ, who is our life, 
shall appear, we also may appear with him in 
glory s; that when he shall appear, we may be 
like him, may see him as he is /, may behold his 
face in righteousness, and when we awake, may 
be satisfied with his likeness u. 

When we fail, let us be received into everlast- 
ing habitations v, in the city that hath habita- 
tions, whose builder and maker is God Wy that 
we may be together for ever with the Lord jr, to 
see as we are seen, and know as we are known ^. 

And, in the mean time, help us to comfort our- 
selves and one another with these words; and 
having this hope in us, to purify ourselves, even 
as Christ is pure z. 

And now, our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and 
God, even our Father, who hath loved us, and 
hath given us everlasting consolation and good 
hope through grace, comfort our hearts, and es- 
tablish us in every good word and work a, 

5. We must pray for the good things of lifey 
"with an humble submission to the will of God. 

y Phil. ill. 20,21. s Col. iii. 2, 3, 4. tl John iii. 2. 

u Psalm xvii. 15. v Luke xvi. 9. w Heb. xi. 10. 

X 1 Theg. iv. 17, 18. y 2 Cor. xiii. 11. z IJohn iii. 8. 
«2Thes. ii. 16, 17. 



94 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Lord, thou hast told us that godliness hath 
the promise of the life that now is, as well as of 
that which is to come b: And that if we seek 
first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness 
thereof, other things shall be added to us c; and 
therefore we cast all our care about these things 
upon thee, who carest for us d; for our heavenly 
Father knows that we have need of all these 
things e, 

(1.) We must pray to be preserved from those 
calamities to "which we are exposed. 

Thou, Lord, art our refuge and our fortress, 
and under thy wings will we trust; thy truth shall 
be our shield and buckler : let us therefore not 
be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the ar- 
row that flieth by day. Having made the Lord 
our refuge, and the Most High our habitation, 
let no evil befall us, nor any plague come nigh 
our dwelling /T 

Let the Lord be our keeper, even he that 
keepeth Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. 
Let the Lord be our shade on our right hand, 
that the sun may not smite us by day, nor the 
moon by night. Let the Lord preserve us from 
all evil : the Lord preserve our souls ; the Lord 
preserve our going out and coming in, from this 
time forth, and even for evermore^. 

Lord, make a hedge about us, about our houses, 
and about all that we have round about h; and 
take sickness away from the midst of us i. 

b 1 Tim. iv. 8. c Mat. vi. 33. d 1 Pet. v. 7. e Mat. vf. 
32. / Psalm xci. % 4, 9, 10. g Psalm cxxi. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 
h Job i. 10. i Exod. xxiii. 25. 



CHAP. in. FOR PRAYER. 95 

Petitions and Requests. 



»^^»'v<>%%^%^»^'%^^%*/>%^^>fcv^^^^^»^*'^<>%'»^<^'»^< 



(2.) We must pray to be supplied with the com- 
forts and supports we daily stand in need of, 

O that the beauty of the Lord our God may 
be upon us, prosper thou the work of our hands 
upon us ; yea, the work of our hands establish 
thou it k. Save now, we beseech thee, O Lord ! 
O Lord, we beseech thee, send now prosperity /. 

Let our sons be as plants grown up in their 
youth, and our daughters as corner-stones pol- 
ished after the similitude of a palace : Let our 
garners be full, affording all manner of store ; 
and let there be no breaking in or going out, no 
complaining in our streets : happy is the people 
that is in such a case, yea, rather, happy is the 
people whose God is the Lord w. 

Let us be blessed in the city, and blessed in 
the field, let our basket and our store be blessed, 
let us be blessed when we come in, and when 
we go out n. 

Let thy good providence so order all events 
concerning us, as that they may be made to 
work for good to us, as thou hast promised they 
shall to all that love thee, and are called accord- 
ing to thy purpose o. 

Give us to trust in the Lord, and do good, 
and then we shall dwell in the land, and verily 
we shall be fed ; and be thou pleased to bring 
forth our righteousness as the light, and our 
judgment as the noon-day p, 

APsalnaxc. 17 — /cxviii.25. — mcxliv. 12, 13,15. w Deut. 
xxxviii. 3, 5, 6. o Rom. viii. 28. p Psalm xxxvii. 3, 6. 



96 A METHOD CHAP. III. 

Petitions and Requests. 

Let us be hid from the scourge of the tongue, 
and not be afraid of destruction when it cometh; 
let us be in league with the stones of the field, 
and let the beasts of the field be at peace with 
us ; let us know that our tabernacle is in peace, 
and let us visit our habitation and not sin q. 

And if God will be with us, and will keep us 
in the way that we go, during our pilgrimage 
in this world, and will give us bread to eat, and 
raiment to put on, so that we may come to our 
heavenly Father's house in peace, then the Lord 
shall be our God r. 

6. We must plead the promises of God for the 
enforcing of all our petitions , put these promises in 
suit, and refer ourselves to them. 

Lord, thou hast given us many exceeding 
great and precious promisesj, which are all yea 
and amen in Christ s. Now be it unto thy ser- 
vants according to the word which thou hast 
spoken i. 

Give us to draw water with joy out of those 
wells of salvation u, to suck and be satisfied from 
those breasts of consolation v. And now, O 
Lord God, let the word which thou hast spoken 
concerning thy servants be established for ever, 
and do as thou hast said w. 

Deal with us according to the tenor of the 
everlasting covenant, which is well-ordered in all 
things, and sure, and which is all our salvation, 
and all our desire o'. 

q Job V. 21, 23, 24.. r Gen. xxviii. 20, 21. j2 Pet. 1. 4.. 
5 2 Cor. i. 20. < Luke i. 38. w Isa. xii. 3.— v Ixvi. 1 1. 

w 2 Sam. vii. 25. — x xxiii. 5. 



«\f 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 97 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

Look upon us, and be merciful to us, as thou 
usest to do unto those that love thy name^, and 
do more for us than we are able to ask or think z, 
and supply all our needs according to thy riches 
in glory by Christ Jesus a. 

ill 



CHAP. IV. 

Of the fourth Part of Prayer, which is. Thanks- 
givings for the Mercies we have received from 
God, and the many favours of his we are inter- 
ested in, and have, and hope for benefit by. 

Our errand at the throne of grace is not only 
to seek the favour of God, but to give unto him 
the glory due unto his name, and that not only 
by an awful adoration of his infinite perfections, 
but by a grateful acknowledgment of his goodness 
to us; which cannot indeed add any thing to his 
glory, but he is pleased to accept of it, and to 
reckon himself glorified by it, if it come from a 
heart that is humbly sensible of its own unwor- 
thiness to receive any favour from God, a heart 
that values the gifts, and loves the Giver. 

1 . We must stir up ourselves to praise God, with 
the consideration both of the reason and of the en- 
couragement we have to praise him. 

y Psalm cxix. 132. z Eph. iii. 20. a Phil. iv. 19. 

4 N ^ ■ 



98 .;iA METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto 
thee do we give thanks; for that thy name is 
near, thy wondrous works declare h. 

Let our souls bless the Lord, and let all that 
is within us bless his holy name; yea, let our 
souls bless the Lord, and not forget any of his 
benefits c. 

We will praise the Lord, for it is good, it is 
pleasant, and praise is comely for the upright, yea, 
it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord rf, 
and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High, 
and show forth thy loving-kindness in the morn- 
ing, and thy faithfulness every night e. 

We will extol thee our God, O King, and will 
bless thy name for ever and ever: Every day will 
we bless thee, and will praise thy name for ever 
and ever; we will abundantly utter the memory 
of thy great goodness, and sing of thy righteous- 
ness/. 

We will sing unto the Lord a new song, and 
his praise in the congregation of saints. O let 
Israel rejoice in him that made him, let the 
children of Zion be joyful in their King; let the 
saints be joyful in glory, and let the high praises 
of God be in their hearts and in their mouths g. 

While we live we will bless the Lord, and will 
sing praise unto our God while we have any 
being; and when we have no being on earth, 
we hope to have a being in heaven, to be doing 
it better //. 

b Psalm Ixxv. I. — c ciii. 1, 2. — t/cxlvii. 1. — e xcii 1, 2.— 
/Psalm cxlv. 1, 2, 7.— g cxlix. I, 2, 5, 6. h cxlvi. 2. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 99 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



.^^v^v^^ 



We are here, through Jesus Christ, to offer the 
sacrifice of praise to thee, which we desire to da 
continually; that is, the fruit of our lips, giving 
thanks to thy name L And thou hast said, that 
he that offers praise glorifies thee k, and that this 
also shall please the Lord better than an ox or 
bullock that hath horns and hoofs /. ^ v/u>;i 

We will mention the loving-kindnesses ttf 'the 
Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to 
all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the 
great goodness towards the house of Israel, which 
he hath bestowed on them, according to his mer- 
cies, and according to the multitude of his love- 
ing-kindness m, 

1 . fVe must be particular t?i our thajiksgivings 
to God: ' •' '''"'^ 

(1.) For the discoveries which lie has made to 
us hi his word of the goodness of his nature. 

We give thanks unto the God of gods, unto the 
Lord of lords, for his mercy endures for ever n. 

Thy goodness is thy glory o, and it is for that 
which all thy works do praise thee, and thy saints 
do bless thee p. 

Thou art gracious and full of compassion, 
slow to anger, and of great mercy </, and hast told 
us that thou dost not afflict willingly, or grieve 
the children of men ; but though thou cause grief, 
yet thou wilt have compassion, according to the 
multitude of thy mercies r. 

i Heb. xiii. 15. k Psalm. 1. 23.— -/Ixix. 31. m Isa. Ixiii. 7. 
n Psalm cxxxvi. 2, 3. o Exod. xxxiii. 19. p Psainn cxlv. 10. 
— 7 cxlv. 8. r Lam. iii. 32, 33. 



100 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



hV»»»%%%%^%^»^<i%%^^'»^^%^^ 



Thou takest pleasure in them that fear thee, 
in them that hope in thy mercy j. 

(2.) For the many instances of his goodness, 

(I.) The goodness of his providence relating to 
our bodies^ and the life that now is ; and this, \ 

1st. With reference to all the creatures ^ and the 
world of mankind in general. 

Thou hast stretched out the heavens like a 
curtain s, and in them thou hast set a tabernacle 
for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming 
out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong 
man to run a race /. And thou causest thy sun 
to shine on the evil and on the good; and send- 
est rain on the just and on the unjust u. 

When we consider the heavens, the work of thy 
fingers, the sun, the moon, and the stars, which 
thou hast ordained; Lord, what is man, that thou 
thus visitest him v ? For truly the light is sweet, 
and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the 
sun w. All the glory be to the Father of light .r, 
who commandeth the morning, and causeth the 
day-spring to know his place y. 

Thou didst not leave thyself without witness 
among the Heathen, in that thou didst good, 
and gavest them rain from heaven and fruitful 
seasons, filling their hearts with food and glad- 
ness z. 

Thou coverestthe heavens with clouds, and pre- 
parest rain for the earth, and makest grass to grow 

; Psalm cxlvii. 1 1 — -5 civ. 2 — t xix. 4, 5. u Matt. v. 45> 
V Psalm viii. 3, 4. tuEccl. xi. 7. x James i. 17. y Job 
xxxviii. 12. z Acts xiv. 17. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 101 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

upon the mountains: Thou givest to the beast 
his food, and to the young ravens which cry a. 

Thou causest it to rain on the v^rilderness, 
where there is no man, to satisfy the desolate 
and waste ground h» 

Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it, thou 
greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which 
is full of water; thou preparest them corn when 
thou hast so provided for it: Thou waterest the 
ridges thereof abundantly, thou settlest the fur- 
rows thereof, thou makest it soft with showers, 
thou blessest the springing thereof: Thou crown- 
est the year with thy goodness, and thy paths 
drop fatness c. 

Thou sendest the springs into the valleys, 
which run among the hills; and they give drink 
to every beast of the field; and by them the 
fowlsof the heavens have their habitation, which 
sing among the branches d. 

Thou hast laid the foundations of the earth, 
that it should not be removed for ever, and set- 
test bounds to the waters of the sea, that they 
turn not again to cover the earth e. Thou hast 
shut up the sea with doors, and broken up for it 
thy decreed place, saying. Hitherto shalt thou 
come, but no farther; here shall thy proud waves 
be stayedyr And thou hast made good what 
thou hast sworn, that the waters of Noah should 
no more go over the earth g, 

a Psalm cxlvii. 8, 9. b Job'xxxviii. 26, 27. c Psalm Ixv. 

9, 10, U—rfciv. 10, II, 12 e civ. 5, 9. /Jobxxxviii. 8. 

11. g Isa. liv. 9. 



102 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

. Thy covenant of the day and of the night is 
not broken //, but still thou givest the sun for a 
light by day, and the ordinances of the moon 
and of the stars for a light by night i ; and art 
faithful to that covenant of providence, that while 
the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold 
and heat, summer and winter, day and night, 
shall not cease k. 

The heaven, even the heavens are thine, but 
the earth thou hast given to the children of men /; 
and thou hast put all things under their feet, and 
made them to have dominion over the works of 
thy hands m; so that the fear of man, and the 
dread of man is upon every beast of the earth, 
and upon the fowl of the air, and into his hand 
they are delivered, because thou hadst a favour 
to him w, and thy delights were with the sons 
of men o. 

Thou causest the grass to grow for the cattle, 
and herb for the service of man, that thou may- 
est bring forth food out of the earth: Wine that 
makes glad the heart of man, and oil to make 
his face to shine, and bread which strengthens 
man's heart p. 

Thou givest to all life and breath, and all 
things q; and the earth, O Lord, is full of thy 
mercy r. *J^^ 

All the creatures wait upon thee, that thou 
mayest give them their meat in due season; that 

h Jer. xxxiii. 20. — i xxxi. 35. k Gen. viii. 22. / Psalm 
cxv. 16. — m viii. 6. 7i Gen. ix. 2. o Prov. viii. 31. p Pi^altn^ 
civ. 14-, 15. q Acts xvii. 25. r Psalm cxix. 64. 



CHAP. IV, FOR PRAYER. 103 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

thou givest them they gather, thou openest thy 
hand, they are filled with good: Thou sendest 
forth thy Spirit, they are created, thou renewest 
the face of the earth. This thy glory shall endure 
for ever, and thou rejoicest in these worksj. 

It is through thy goodness, O Lord, that as 
one generation of mankind passeth away, another 
generation comes s, and that thou hast not blot- 
ted out the name of that corrupt and guilty race 
from under heaven t. h ! -f! 

^dly, With reference to us in particular, 

(1.) We must give thanks that he hath made us 
reasonable creatures^ capable of knowing, loving^ 
serving, and enjoying him, and that he hath not 
made us like the beasts that perish. 

We will praise thee, for w^e are fearfully and 
wonderfully made, and that our souls, our nobler 
part, know right well u; for no man knows the 
things of a man, save the spirit of man which is 
in him v, my) in* 

Thou hast made us of that rank of beings 
which is little lower than the angels, and is 
crowned with glory and honour w; for there is 
a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Al- 
mighty giveth them understanding jc. And the 
spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord y. 

Our bodies are capable of being the temples of 
the Holy Ghost, and our souls of having the 
Spirit of God to dwell in them z; we therefore glo- 

;• Psalm cxiv. 27, 28, 30, 31. s Eccl. i. 4. t Deut. xxix. 
20. u Psalm cxxxix. H. v I Cor. ii. 11. xu Psalm viii. 5. 
X Job xxxii. 8. y Prov. xx. 27- x 1 Cor. iii. 16. 



1(H A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

rify thee with our bodies and with our spirits 
which are thine a. 

Thou, Lord, hast formed us for thyself, that 
we might show forth thy praise h, 

(2.) We must give thanks for our preservation, 
that our lives are prolonged, and that the use of 
our reason aiid understanding, our limbs and sen- 
ses, are conVmued to us. 

It was owing to thy good providence that we 
died not from the womb, and did not give up 
the ghost when we came out of the belly, that 
the knees prevented us, and the breast that we 
should suck c. 

Though we were called transgressors from the 
womb d, yet by thy power we have been borne 
from the belly, and carried from the womb e ; 
and thou boldest our souls in life, and sufferest 
not our feet to be moved/. 

All our bones shall say. Lord, who is like unto 
thee g ? for thou keepest all our bones, not one 
of them is broken h. 

We lay us down and sleep ; for thou, Lord,' 
makest us to dwell in safety i. 

Thou hast given thine angels a charge con- 
cerning us, to keep us in all our ways, to bear us 
up in their hands, lest we dash our feet against 
a stone J:. And they are all ministering spirits, 
sent forth to minister for the good of them that 
shall be heirs of salvation. • 

a 1 Cor. vi. 10, 20. b Isa. xliii. 21. c Job iii. II, 12. 
d Isa. xlviii. 8. — e xlvi. 3. y Psalm Ixvi. 9. — g xxxv. 10. — 
h Psalm xxxiv. 20—2 iii. 5 — k xci. 11, 12. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 105 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

(3 ) For signal recoveries from danger 6^ sick- 
ness or otherwise, m 

When perhaps there has been but a step be- 
tween us and death w, and we have received a 
sentence of death within ourselves n, and have 
been ready to say, in the cutting off of our days 
we should go to the gates of the grave, and were 
deprived of the residue of our years, yet thou 
hast in love to our souls delivered them from tl^e 
pit of corruption, and cast all our sin behind thy 
back 0. 

When the sorrows of death have compassed 
us, and the pains of hell have got hold upon us, 
we have called upon the name of the Lord, and 
have found that gracious is the Lord, and righte- 
ous, yea, our God is merciful; we have been 
brought low, and he hath helped us, and hath 
delivered our souls from death, our eyes from 
tears, and our feet from falling. We will there- 
fore walk before the Lord in the land of the liv- 
ing jp. 

(4f,) For the supports and comforts of this life, 
which have hitherto made the land of our pilgrim- 
age easy and pleasant to us. 

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with 
his benefits, even the God of our salvation q. 

Thou makest us to lie down in green pastures, 
thou feedest us beside the still waters: Thou 
preparest a table for us in the presence of our 



m 1 Sam. xx. 3. n 2 Cor. i. 9. o Isa xxxviii. 10, 17. 
p Psalra cxvi. 3, 4-, 5, 6, 8, 9. — q Ixviii. 19. 

4i o 



106 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

enemies, thou anointest our head, and our cup 
runs over r. 

It may be we were sent forth without purse or 
scrip, but lacked we any thing ? Nothing, Lordj. 

The candle of God hath shined upon our head, 
and by his light we have walked through dark- 
ness, and the secret of God has been in our ta- 
bernacle s. 

Thou hast given us all things richly to enjoy t, 
and into our hands hast brought plentifully u. 

Many a time we have eaten and been filled, 
and delighted ourselves in thy great goodness v. 

When we remember all the ways which the 
Lord our God hath led us for so many years in 
this wilderness w, we must here set up a stone, 
and call it Ebenezer; for hitherto the Lord hath 
helped us a:. 

(5.) For success in our callings and affairs^ com- 
forts in relations^ and comfortable places of abode. 

It is God that girdeth us with strength, and 
maketh our way perfect^; that hath blessed the 
work of our hands 2, and it may be so, that 
though our beginning was small, yet our latter 
end hath greatly increased a. 

Our houses have been safe from fear, and there 
hath been no rod of God upon us b; so that the 
voice of rejoicing and salvation hath been in our 
tabernacle from day to day c. 



r Psalm xxiii. 2, 5. j Luke xxii. 35. s Job xxix. 3, 4-. 
t I Tim. vi. 17. u Job xii. 6. v Neb. ix. 25. w Deut. viii. 
2. X I vSam. vii. 12. y Psalm xviii. 32. z Job i. 10. — a viii. 
7 — b xxi. 9. c Psalm cxviii. 15. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. J 07 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

With our staff it may be we have passed over 
this Jordan, and now we are become two bands d; 
and it is God that setteth the solitary in fami- 
lies e. 

If we have lived joyfully with our relations^ 
and they have been to us as the loving hind and 
as the pleasant roe g, we must give thee thanks 
for it ; for every creature is that to us, and no 
more, that thou makest it to be. 

(6.) For our share in the public plenty ^ peace y 
and tranquillity. 

When we have eaten and are full, we have 
reason to bless thee for the good land which 
thou hast given us /j; A land which the eyes of 
the Lord our God are always upon, from the be- 
ginning of the year even to the end of the year i. 

Thou makest peace in our borders, and fillest 
us with the finest of the wheat k : We are deliv- 
ered from the noise of archers at the place of 
drawing water; there, therefore, will we rehearse 
|he righteous acts of the Lord, even his righteous 
acts towards the inhabitant* of his villages /. 

We thank thee, that the powers that are set 
over us are ministers of God to us for good m, 
that they seek the welfare of the people, speak- 
ing peace to all their seed n. 

2. The goodness oj his grace relating to our 
souls, and the lije that is to come. 

But especially blessed be the God and Father 

d Gen. xxxii. 10. e Psalm Ixviii. 6. y Eccl. ix. 9. 

g Prov. V. 19. h Deut. viii. 10. — i xi. l2. k Psalm cxlvii. 
i4. / Judges V. 11. m Rom. xiii. 4. n Esther x. 3. 



108 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us 
with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in 
Christ 0. 

1 . We must give God thanks jor his kindness 
to the children of men relating to their better part 
and their future state, and his favours to the church 
in general. 

(1.) fVe must give thanks for his gracious de- 
sign and contrivance ofman^s redemption and sal- 
mtion^ when he was lost and undone by sin, 

O how wonderfully did the kindness and love 
of God our Saviour towards man appear! not by 
any works of righteousness which we had done, 
but according to his mercy he saved us p. We 
had destroyed ourselves^ but in thee, and thee 
only, was our help q. 

When we were cast out in the open field, and 
no eye pitied us, thou sawest us polluted in our 
own blood, and thou saidst unto us. Live; yea, 
thou saidst unto us. Live; and the time was a 
time of love r. 

When the redemption of the soul was so pre- 
cious as that it must have ceased for ever, and 
no man could by any means redeem his brother, 
or give to God a ransom for him j, then thou 
wast pleased to find a ransom, that we might be 
delivered from going down to the pit s. 

When we mustneeds die, and were as water spilt 
upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up 
again, then didst thou devise means that the ban- 
ished might not be for ever expelled from thee t. 

o Eph. i. 3. p Tit. iii. 4, 5. q Hosea xiii. 9- r Ezek. xvi 
5, 6, 8. j Psalm xlix. 7. s Job xxxiii. 24. t 2 Sam. xiv. 14 



CHAP. IV, FOR PRAYER. 109 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



k'«^«'»'V«.V'*1 



When thou sparedst not the angels that sinned, 
but didst cast them down to hell w; thou saidst 
concerning the race of mankind, destroy it not, 
for a blessing is in it v. 

Herein appears the wisdom of God in a mys- 
tery, even the hidden wisdom which God or- 
dained before the world for our glory w. 

(2.) For the eternal purposes and counsels of 
God concerning man^s redemption. 

We are bound to give thanks always to thee, 
O God, because thou hast from the beginning 
chosen some to salvation through sanctification 
of the Spirit x: That there is a remnant accord- 
ing to the election of grace z/, whom God hath 
chosen in Christ before the foundation of the 
world,, that they should be holy and without blame 
before thee in love, having predestinated them to 
the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto 
thyself, according to the good pleasure of thy 
will, to the praise of the glory of thy grace z. 

Thine they were, and thou gavest them to 
Christ; and this is thy will, that of all that thou 
hast given him he should lose nothing, but should 
raise it up at the last day a. 

(3.) For the appointing of the Redeemer, and 
God's gracious condescension to deal with men up- 
on new terms, receding from the demands of the 
broken covenant qfinnocency. 

We bless thee, that when sacrifice and offer- 
ings thou wouldst not, and in it hadst no plea- 
ts 2 Pet. ii. 4«, v Isa. Ixv. 8. U) 1 Cor. ii. 7. x 2 Fhess.. 
ii. 13. y Rom. xi. 5. z Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. a John xvii. 6 
vi. 39. 



110 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

sure, that then the eternal Son of God said, Lo, 
I come to do thy will, O God, and a body hast 
thou prepared me b: And that as in the volume 
of the book it was written of him, he did delight 
to do thy will, O God; yea, thy law was within 
his heart c. 

Thou hast laid help upon one that is mighty, 
one chosen out of the people: Thou hast found 
David thy servant; with thy holy oil hast thou 
anointed him, even with the oil of gladness above 
his fellows, and didst promise that with him thy 
hand should be established, and thy arm should 
strengthen him, and that thou wouldst make him, 
thy first-born, higher than the kings of the earth d. 

We bless thee that the Father now judgeth no 
man, but hath committed all judgment to the 
Son ; that as he has life in himself, so he hath 
given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath 
given him authority to execute judgment also, 
because he is the Son of man f; that the Father 
loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his 
hand g: and that the counsel of peace is between 
them both h. 

That he is thy servant whom thou dost up- 
hold; thine elect, in whom thy soul delighteth i: 
thy beloved Son, in whom thou art well pleased k: 
That thou hast given him for a covenant of the 
people /; and that through him we are not under 
the law, but under grace m. 

b Heb. X. 5, 6, 7- c Psalm xl. 7, 8 —of Ixxxix. 19, 20, 

2 1 , 27. xlv. 7 J John v. 22, 26, 27.—^ iii. 35. h Zecb. 
vi. 13. ilsa.xlii. 1. A- Malt. xvii. 5. / Isa. xiix. 8. 
m Rom. vi. 14. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. Ill 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

That God so loved the world, as to give his on- 
ly begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life 7i, 

(4.) For the early and ancient indication of the 
gracious design concerning fallen man. 

We bless thee, that as soon as ever man had sin- 
ned, it was graciously promised that the seed of 
the woman should bruise the serpent's head o ; 
and that in the Old Testament sacrifices, Jesus 
Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation 
of the world p. 

And that by faith the elders, though they re- 
ceived not the promise, yet obtained a good re- 
port, for they obtained witness that they were 
righteous q. 

We bless thee for the promise made to Abra- 
ham, that in his seed all the families of the earth 
should be blessed r: and to Jacob, that the Shi- 
loh should come, and to him should the gather- 
ing of the people be j; And that the Patriarchs 
rejoiced to see Christ's day, and they saw it, and 
were glad s, 

(5.) For the many glorious instances of God's 
favour to the Old Testament church. 

We adore that wisdom, peace, and goodness, 
with which thou broughtest the vine out of 
%ypt, didst cast out the heathen and plant it; 
thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause 
it to take deep root, and it filled the land t. 

n John iii. 16. o Gen. iii. 15. p Rev. xiii. 8. q Heb. xi. 
2, 39. r Gen. xii. 3.— ^" xlix. 10. s John viii. 5Q. t Psalm 
Ixxx. 8, 9. 



112 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

And they got not the land in possession by 
their own sword, neither did their own arm save 
them ; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and 
the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst 
a favour to them v. 

We bless thee that to the Jews were commit- 
ted the oracles of God w; that they had the adop- 
tion and the glory, and the covenants, the giving 
of the law, and the service of God, and the pro- 
mises «r. And that there did not fail one word of 
all thy good promise which thou promisedst by 
the hand of Moses thy servant y. 

We bless thee for all that which thou, at sun- 
dry times and in divers manners, didst speak in 
time past unto the fathers by the prophets js, those 
holy men of God, who spoke as they were mov- 
ed by the Holy Ghost a, and prophesied of the 
grace that should come unto us, testifying be- 
forehand the suffering of Christ, and the glory 
that should follow; and that not to themselves 
only, but to us they ministered those great things, 
which the angels themselves desire to look into b. 

And especially we bless thee that thou hast 
provided some better things for us, that they 
without us should not be made perfect c, 

(6.) For the wonderful and mysterioics incar' 
nation of the Son of Gody aiid his coming into the 
world. 

We bless thee, that when the fulness of time 



V Psalm xliv. 3. cxxxvi. 10, &c. w Rom. ill. 2 — x ix. 4. — 
y iKingsviii. 56. z Hub. i. 1. a 2 Pet. i. 21. b 1 Pet. i. 
10, 11, 12. c Heb. xi. 40. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 113 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

was come, thou didst send forth thy Son, made 
of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them 
that were under the law, that we might receive 
the adoption of sons d. 

That the eternal Word was made flesh, and 
dwelt among us, and there were those who saw 
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of 
the Father, full of grace and truth. And with- 
out controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, 
that God was manifested in the flesh e. 

We bless thee, that to this end he was born, 
and for this cause he came into the world, that 
he might bear witness of the truth // and we be- 
lieve, and are sure, that he is that Christ, the 
Son of the living God g; that it is he that should 
come, and we are to look for no other h. 

We bless thee that the Son of man is come to 
seek and to save that which was lost i; that he 
is come that we might have life, and that we 
might have it more abundantly Jc; and that for 
this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that 
he might destroy the works of the devil /. 

Lord, we receive it as a faithful saying, and 
well worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus 
came into the world to save sinners, even the 
chief W2. 

We bless thee, that forasmuch as the children 
are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself 
likewise took part of the same : That he took 
not on him the nature of angels, but our nature, 

d Gal.iv. 4, 5. e John i. 14-. 1 Tim. iii. 16.— ;/ John xviii. 
S7.— ^ vi. 69. h Matt. ix. 3. i Luke xix. 10. k John x. 
10. / 1 John iii. 8. m 1 Tim. i. 15. 
4 P 



114 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

and was in all things made like unto his brethren, 
that he might be a merciful and faithful high- 
priest in things pretaining to God, to make re- 
conciliation for the sins of the people, and that 
he is not ashamed to call them brethren n. 

And that the first begotten was brought into 
the world with a charge given to all the angels 
of God to worship him o. 

(7.) For God's gracious owning of him in his un- 
dertaking, and in the carrying of it on. 

We bless thee that thou wast in Christ recon- 
ciling the world to thyself, not imputing their 
trespasses unto them, and that thou hast com- 
mitted unto us the word of reconciliation p. 

That thou hast thyself given him for a witness 
to the people, a leader and commander to the 
people q. That he was sanctified and sealed and 
sent into the world r, and that the Father who 
sent him did not leave him alone, for he always 
did those things that pleased him j. 

Glory be to God in the highest, for in and 
through Jesus Christ there is on earth peace, and 
good-will towards men 5. 

In this was manifested the love of God to- 
wards us; because that God sent his only be- 
gotten Son into the world, that we might live 
through him t. 

We thank thee for the power thou hast given 
him over all flesh, that he should give eternal 
life to as many as were given him u. 

n Heb. ii. 11, 14., 16, 17^— o i. 6. p 2 Cor. v. 19. y Isa. 
Iv. 4. r John x, S6,-—j viii. 29. s Luke ii. 14. t \ John 
iv. 9. — u xvii. 2. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 1 15 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



t%'X^^i%<><%^<^»^»»^'»'V^%^^»^'%^^V*^^^*^^**^» 



(8.) For his holy life^ his ea^cellent doctrine, and 
the glorious miracles he wrought to confirm his 
doctrine. 

We bless thee for the assurance we have, that 
he is a teacher come from God, since no man 
could do these miracles which he did, except 
God were with him v. 

That thou hast in these last days spoken unto 
us by thy Son w, whose doctrine was not his, but 
his that sent him a:, and he spoke as one having 
authority y; and that we were encouraged to 
come and learn of him, because he is meek and 
lowly of heart, and in learning of him we shall 
find rest to our souls z. 

We bless thee that he hath left us an example 
that we should follow his steps, in that he did 
no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; and 
when he was reviled, he reviled not again a; and 
his meat and drink was to do the will of his 
Father b; in that he was holy, harmless, undefiled, 
separate from sinners c. O that we may be arm- 
ed with the same mind, and that as he was, so 
we may be in this world d; and that we may so 
walk even as he walked e. 

We bless thee that the works which he did, the 
same bore witness of him that the Father had sent 
him/"; that by his power the blind received their 
sight, the lame walked, the lepers were cleansed, 
the deaf heard, the dead were raisen up, and the 
poor had the gospel preached to them^; and even 

V John iii. 2. to Heb. i. 2. x John vii. 16. y Matt vii. 29. 
—2x1.29. fl IPet. ii. 21, 22, 23. 6 John iv. 34. c Heb. 
vii. 26. rflPct. iv. 1. «lJohnii.6. /John v. 36. 
g Matt. ix. 5. 



116 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

the winds and the sea obeyed him h: for which 
we glorify the God of Israel r. Doubtless this 
was the Son of God k. 

(9.) For the great encouragement Christ gave 
to poor sinners to come to him. 

We bless thee that Jesus Christ came to call 
not the righteous, but sinners (such as we are) 
to repentance, and had power on earth to forgive 
sin /; that he came to save his people from their 
sins m; and is the Lamb of God thattaketh away 
the sin of the world n; and that he is (to his ho- 
nour, not to his reproach) a friend to publicans 
and sinners o. 

We thank thee for the gracious invitations he 
gave to those who are weary and heavy laden, 
to come to him for rest p: And for the assurance 
he hath given, that whosoever cometh unto him 
he will in nowise cast out q. 

That he made a gracious offer, that whosoever 
thirsts might come unto him and drink r. 

(10.) For the full satisfaction which he made to 
the justice of God for the sin of man by the blood 
of his cross ; for the purchase, victories, and tri- 
umphs of the cross ; and for all the precious bene- 
fits which How to us from the dying of the Lord 
Jesus. 

Herein indeed God commendeth his love to 
us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died 
for us J, that we might be reconciled to him 
by the death of his Son s. Herein is love, not 

h Matt. viii. 27.— i xv. 31 — k xxvii. 54— Z ix. 6, 13 

m i. 21. n John i 29. o Matt. xi. 19 — p xi. 28. q John vi. 
57. — r vii. 37. j Rom. v. 8. * I John iv. 10. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 1 17 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

that we loved God, but that he loved us, and 
sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, 
and not for ours only, but for the sins of the 
whole world t; that he tasted death for every 
man, that through death he might destroy him 
that had the power of death, that is, the devil w. 

We bless thee, that by one offering he hath 
perfected for ever them that are sanctified v; 
that he hath finished transgression, made an end 
of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, and hath 
brought in an everlasting righteousness w. 

That he hath redeemed us from the curse of 
the law, by being made a curse for us x. 

That what the law could not do, in that it 
was weak through the flesh, God hath done by 
sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, 
who, by a sacrifice for sin, condemned sin in the 
flesh y. 

That he was wounded for our transgressions, 
and bruised for our iniquities, and that the chas- 
tisement of our peace was upon him, and by his 
stripes we are healed ; and that the Lord having 
laid upon him the iniquity of us all, it pleased 
the Lord to bruise him, and put him to grief ;2r. 

That appearing to put away sin by the sacri- 
fice of himself, he did, by the eternal Spirit, offer 
himself without spot unto God, and by his own 
blood entered in once into the holy place, hav- 
ing obtained eternal redemption for us a. 

t 1 John ii. 2. u Heb. ii. 9, l* — v x. 14. to Dan. ix. 24. 
« Gal. iii. 13. y Rom. viii. 3. z Isa. liii. .5, 6, 10. a Heb. 
ix. 12, 14,26. 



118 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

That he hath spoiled principalities and powers, 
and made a show of them openly, triumphing 
over them in his cross, and hath blotted out the 
hand-writing of ordinances which was against 
us, which was contrary to us, taking it out of 
the way, by nailing it to his cross b. 

That he is our peace, who having broke down 
the middle wall of partition between Jew and 
Gentile, hath made himself of twain one new 
man, hath reconciled both unto God in one body 
by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby c. 
;; That he hath loved us, and washed us from 
our sins in his own blood, and hath made us un- 
to our God kings and priests d». 

O the height, and depth, and length, and 
breadth of that love of Christ, which passeth 
knowledge e ! that great love wherewith he lov- 
ed usy/ 

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive 
power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and 
honour, and glory, and blessing; for he was slain, 
and hath redeemed us to God by his blood g, 

(11.) For his resurrection from the dead on the 
third day. 

We thank thee, that as he was delivered for 
our offences, so he rose again for our justifica- 
tion A, and was declared to be the Son of God 
with power by the resurrection from the dead i. 

That though he w^as dead, yet he is alive, and 

h Col. ii. H, 15. c Eph. ii. H, 15, 16. d Rev. i. 5, 6. 
e Eph. iii. 18.-;/ii. 4. g Rev. v, 9, 12. h Rom. iv. 25. 
i Rom. i. 4-. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 119 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

lives for evermore, and hath the keys of hell and 
death k ; and being raised from the dead, he dies 
no more, death hath no more dominion over him /. 

That now is Christ risen from the dead, and is 
become the first-fruits of them that slept; that as 
in Adam all died, so in Christ all might be made 
alive, and every one in his own order m. 

That God suffered not his holy One to see 
corruption, but loosed the pains of death, be- 
cause it was impossible he should be holden of 
them, and so declared to all the house of Israel, 
that that same Jesus whom they crucified is both 
Lord and Christ n. 

And that for this end Christ both died, and 
rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of 
the dead and living o, and that whether we wake 
or sleep, we might live together with him p, 

(12.) For his ascension into heaven, and his sit- 
ting at God's right hand tliere. 

We bless thee that the Lord Jesus is ascended 
to his Father and our Father, to his God and 
our God q; is ascended up on high, having led 
captivity captive, and hath received gifts for men, 
yea, even for the rebellious also, that the Lord 
God might dwell among them r. 

That as the forerunner he is for us entered, en- 
tered into heaven itselfj, now to appear in the 
presence of God for us s, a Lamb, as it had been 
slain, standing in the midst of the throne t, 

k Rev. i. 18. / Rora. vi. 9. m 1 Cor. xv. 20, 22. n Acts 
ii. 24, 31, 36. o Rom. xiv. 9. p 1 Thess. v. 10. q John xx. 
17. r Psai. Ixviii. 18. j Heb. vi. 20.— 5 ix. 2i. / Rev. v. 6. 



120 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy, 

That he is set on the right hand of the throne 
of the Majesty in the heavens w, angels and au- 
thorities and powers being made subject to him t;. 

That he is gone before to prepare a place for 
us in his Father's house, where there are many 
mansions w ; and though whither he is gone we 
cannot follow him now, yet we hope to follow 
him hereafter, when he shall come again to re- 
ceive us to himself, that where he is, there we 
may be also x. 

(13.) For the intercession which he ever lives 
to make in virtue of his satisfaction. 

We thank thee, that having borne the sins of 
many, he makes intercession for transgressors y ; 
and prays not for those only that were given 
him when he was upon earth, but for all that 
shall believe on him through their word, that 
they all may be one z» 

That we have an advocate with the Father, 
even Jesus Christ the righteous a, who is there- 
fore able to save to the uttermost all those that 
come to God as a Father, by him as a Mediator, 
seeing he ever lives, making intercession b. 

That we have a High Priest taken from among 
men, and ordained for men in things pertaining 
to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifice 
for sin, who can have compassion on the igno- 
rant, and on them that are out of the way, and 
that he is become the Author of eternal salvation 
to all them that obey him c. 

u Heb. viii. 1. v 1 Pet. iii. 22. to John xiv. 2, 3. — x xiii. 
36. y Isa. liii. 12. z John xvii. 20, 21. a 1 John ii. 1. 
b Heb. vii. 25.-~c \, 1,2, 9. 



I 



-CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 121 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

. (14.) For the dominion and sovereignty to which 
the Redeemer is exalted. 

We thank thee, that because our Lord Jesus 
humbled himself, and became obedient unto 
death, even the death of the cross, therefore God 
hath highly exalted him, and given him a name 
above every name, that at the name of Jesus 
every knee should bow, and every tongue confess 
(as we do at this time), that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father d» 

That all power is given unto him both in hea- 
ven and in earth e; that thou hast set him over the 
works of thy hands, and hast put all things in 
subjection under his feet, and so hath crowned 
him with glory and honour^^ 

That he is Kings of kings and Lord of lords g; 
that the Ancient of days hath given him domi- 
nion, and glory, and a kingdom, an everlasting 
dominion, and a kingdom which shall not be de- 
stroyed h. 

That the government is upon his shoulders, 
and that his name is called Wonderful, Counsel- 
lor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and 
the Prince of Peace; and of the increase of his 
government and peace there shall be no end i. 

That thou hast set him as a king upon thy 
holy hill of Zion Jc, and that he shall reign over 
the house of Jacob for ever /, shall reign till he 
has put down all opposing rule, principality and 

d Phil.ii. 8, 9, 10. e Matt, xxviii. 18. /Heb. ii. 7, 8, 9. 
g Rev. xix. 16. h Dan. vii. 14. i ha. ix. 6, 7. le Psalm 
ii. 6. / Luke i. 33. 

4 a 



1^2 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

power, till all his enemies are made his footstool, 
and then he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, 
even the Father, that God may be all in all m. 

(15.) For the assurance we have of his second 
coming to judge the world. 

We bless thee that thou hast appointed a day, 
in which thou wilt judge the world in righteous- 
ness by that man whom thou hast ordained, 
whereof thou hast given assurance unto all men, 
in that thou hast raised him from the dead w. 

That in that day the Lord Jesus shall be re- 
vealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in 
flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know 
not God, and that obey not the gospel of our 
Lord Jesus Christ: And shall come to be glori- 
fied in his saints, and admired in all them that 
believe o ; for them that sleep in Jesus he will 
bring with him p. 

That he shall then send forth his angels, to 
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, 
and them which do iniquity, and gather together 
his elect from the four winds; and then shall 
the righteous shine forth as the sun in the king- 
dom of their Father q. 

And we then, according to thy promise, look 
for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwell- 
eth righteousness. Lord, grant that, seeing we 
look for such things, we may give diligence to be 
found of him in peace, without spot, and blame- 

m 1 Cor. XV. 2*, 25, 28. n Acts xvii. 31. o2 Thess. i. 
7, 8, JO. p 1 Thess. iv. 14. q Matt. xiii. 41, 43. xxiv. 31. 



1 



tUAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 123 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



lessj: And then come, Lord Jesus, come quick- 
ly 5. 

(16.) For the sending of the Holy Spirit to sup- 
ply the xvant of Christ's bodily presence, to carry 
on his undertakings and to prepare things for his 
second coming. 

We bless thee, that when our Lord Jesus went 
away, he sent us another Comforter to abide with 
us for ever, even the Spirit of truth /, who shall 
glorify the Son, for he shall take of his, and shall 
show it unto us u. 

That being by the right hand of God exalted, 
and having received of the Father the promise 
of the Holy Ghost v, he poured it forth as rivers 
of living water w. 

Blessed be God for the signs and wonders, and 
divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, with 
which God bare witness to the great salvation j:. 

And blessed be God for the promise, that as 
earthly parents, though evil, know how to give 
good gifts to their children, so our heavenly 
Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask 
him y, that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the 
earnest of our inheritance until the redemption 
of the purchased possession z, 

(17-) For the covenajit of grace made with us 
in Jesus Christy and all the exceeding great and 
precious privileges of that covenant, and for the 
seals of it, 

j 2 Pet. iii. 13, U. a Rev. xxii. 20. t John xiv. 16, 17. 
— tt xvi. 14. V Acts ii. 33. to John vii. 38. x Heb. ii. 4. 
y Luke xi. 13. z Eph. i. 13, H. 



124 A METHODt chap. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

We thank thee, that in Jesus Christ thou hast 
made an everlasting covenant with us, even the 
sure mercies of David a; and that though the 
mountains may depart and the hills be removed, 
yet this covenant of thy peace shall never be re- 
moved b. 

: That thou hast given unto us exceeding great 
and precious promises, that by these we might be 
partakers of a divine nature c: And that Jesus 
Christ is the Mediator of this better covenant, 
which is established upon better promises d. 
. That though thou chasten our transgression 
with the rod, and our iniquity with stripes; yet 
thy loving-kindness thou wilt not utterly take 
away, nor cause thy faithfulness to fail; thy 
covenant thou wilt not break, nor alter the thing 
that is gone out of thy lips e. 

That being willing more abundantly to show 
to the heirs of promise the immutability of thy 
counsel, thou hast confirmed it by an oath. That 
by two immutable things, in which it was impos- 
sible for God to lie, we might have strong con- 
solation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on 
the hope set before usj^ 

That baptism is appointed to be a seal of the 
righteousness which is by faith, as circumcision 
was g; that it assures us of the remission of sins, 
and the gift of the Holy Ghost; and that this 
promise is to us and our children k. And that 
the cup in the Lord's supper is the blood of the 

a Isa. Iv. 3 — h liv. la c2 Pet. i. 4. d Heb. viii. 6. 
e Psalm Ixxxix. 32, 33, 34. J Heb. vi. 17j( I8< g Rom. iir, 
11, A Acts ii. 38, 39. 



CHAP. IV. FOR FRAYER. 1 25 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



> %^%.%%^*^»^ 



New Testament, which was shed for many, for 
the remission of sins i. 

(18.) For the writing of the Scriptures^ and the 
preserving of them pure a7id entire to our day. 

We thank thee that we have the Scriptures to 
search, and that in them we have eternal life, 
and that they testify of Christ k ; and that all 
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correc- 
tion, and for instruction in righteousness /. 

That whatsoever things were written afore- 
time, were written for our learning, that we 
through patience and comfort of the Scripture 
might have hope m: And that we have this most 
sure word of prophecy, as a light shining in a 
dark place w. n ow i 

That the vision is not become to us as the 
words of a book that is sealed o, but that we hear 
in our own tongue the wonderful works of God j!7. 

We thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, that the things which were hid from the 
wise and prudent, and which many prophets and 
kings desired to see, but did not, are revealed to 
us babes: Even so. Father, for so it seemed good 
in thy sight q. . \o v.-. v ,\. .. . .\. 

(19.) For the institution of ordinances, and par- 
ticularly that of the ministry. 

We thank thee that thou hast not only show- 
ed thy word unto Jacob, q^d thy statutes and 

i Matt. xxvi. 28. k John v. 39. / 2 Tim. iii. 16. m Rom. 
XV. 4?. n 2 Pet. i. 19. o Isa. xxix. 11. p Acts ii. 1 1. 
f Luke X. 21, 2*. 



ItW A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



t»^%'»%^%<»^^»%^^*%%^%^V»%^%^'%^»<»V»<^%.* *%%%%^»%^» 



judgments unto Israel, but unto us also: Thou 
hast not dealt so with other nations; and as for 
thy judgments, they have not known them r. 

That the tabernacle of God is with men, and 
he will dwell with them J, and that he hath set 
his sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore 5, 
and there will meet with the children of Israel U 

We thank thee that thou hast made known 
unto us thy holy sabbaths u^ and that still there 
remains the keeping of a sabbath to the people 
of God V. And that when the Lord Jesus as- 
cended up on high, he gave gifts unto men, not 
only prophets, apostles, and evangelists, but pas- 
tors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of 
the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity 
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of 
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of 
the stature of the fulness of Christ w: And that 
while they teach us to observe all things which 
Christ hath commanded, he hath promised to be 
with them always, even unto the end of the 
world X. 

(20.) For the planting of the Christian religion 
in the worlds and the setting up of the gospel churchy 
in despite of all the oppositions of the powers of 
darkness. 

We thank thee, that the preaching of Jesus 

r Psalm cxlvii. 19, 20. j Rev. xxi. 3. s Ezek. xxxvii. 26. 
t Exod. xxix. 43. u Neb. ix. H. v Heb. iv. 9. w Epb, 
iv. 8, 11, 12, 13. X Matt, xxviii. 20. 



CHAP. IV^ FOR PRAYER. 1^7 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



k«^'V%'V%«%^^'V««%'»««i« %.^«.»»»^%*^%%^%'< 



Christ, according to the commandment of the 
everlasting God, and the gospel which was made 
known to all nations for the obedience of faith y^ 
was mighty, through God, to the pulling down 
of strong holds ^; that the Lord wrought with it, 
and confirmed the word by signs following a^ so 
that Satan fell as lightning from heaven h. 

That though the gospel was preached in much 
contention c, yet it grew and prevailed mightily d^ 
and multitudes turned to God from idols, to 
serve the living and true God, and to wait for 
his Son from heaven e. 

Now came salvation and strength, and the 
kingdom of our God, and the power of his 
Christy) and the exalted Redeemer rode forth 
with his bow, and with his crown, conquering 
and to conquer^; and nations were born at 
once lu 

(21.) For the preservation of Christianity in the 
"world unto this day. 

We bless thee, that though the enemies of Israel 
have afflicted them from their youth up, have 
many a time afflicted them, yet they have not pre- 
vailed against them, though the ploughers have 
ploughed on their back, yet the righteous Lord 
has cut asunder the cords of the wicked i. 

That Jesus Christ hath built his church upon 
a rock, which the gates of hell cannot prevail 

y Rom. xvi. 25, 26. z 2 Cor. x. 4. a Mark xvi. 20. 
h Luke X. 18. c\ Thess. ii. 2. d Acts xix. 20. e 1 Thess. 
i. 9. /Rev. xii. 10 — g y\. 2. h Isa. Ixvi. 8. i Psalm 
cxxix. 1, 2, S, 4. 



128 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



against k, but his seed shall endure for ever, and 
his throne as the days of heaven /. 

(22.) For the martyrs and confessors, the lights 
of the churchy and the good examples of those that 
are gone before us to heaven. 

We bless thee for all those who have been en- 
abled to approve themselves to God, in much 
patience, in afflictions, in distresses w, who, when 
they have been brought before governors and 
king's for Christ's sake, it has turned to them for 
a testimony, and God has given them a mouth 
and wisdom which all their adversaries were not 
able to gainsay or resist n. 

That those who for Christ's sake were killed 
all the day long, and accounted as sheep for the 
slaughter, yet in all these things were more than 
conquerors through him that loved us o. 

That they overcame the accuser of the. breth- 
ren by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word 
of their testimony, and by not loving their lives 
unto the death p. 

We bless thee for the cloud of witnesses with 
which we are encompassed about q, for the foot- 
steps of the flock r, for the elders that have ob- 
tained a good report J, and are now, through 
faith and patience, inheriting the promises s. 
Lord, give us to follow them, as they followed 
Christ /. 



h Matt. xvi. 18. / Psalm Ixxxix. 29. m 2 Cor. vi. 4. 
n Luke xxi. 12, 13, 15. o Rom. viii. 36, 37. p Rev. xii. 
H. y Heb. xii. 1. r Cant. i. 8. 7 Heb. xr.2.— 5 vi. 12. 
t ICor. xi. 1. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 1^9 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

(23.) For the communion of saints, that spiritual 
communion which we have in faith and hope, a7id 
holy love, and in prayers and praises with all good 
Christians. 

We bless thee, that if we walk in the light, we 
have fellowsliip one with another u, even with all 
that in every place call on the name of Jesus 
Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours v. 

That we, being many, are one bread and one 
body w, and that though there are diversities of 
gifts and administrations, and operations, yet 
there is the same Spirit, the same Lord, and the 
same God, which worketh all in all x. 

We thank thee, that all the children of God, 
which w^ere scattered abroad^, are united in him, 
who is the head of the body, the church z : so 
that they are all our brethren and companions 
in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience 
of Jesus Christ a. 

(24.) For the prospect and hope of eternal lije, 
when time and days shall be no more. 

We thank thee for the crown of life which the 
Lord hath promised to them that love him; the 
inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that 
fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us b. 

That having here no continuing city c, we are 
encouraged to seek the better country ; that is, 
the heavenly, the city that hath foundations, 
whose builder and maker is God d. 

u 1 John i. 7. v 1 Cor. i. 1 — to x. 17.— or xil. 4, 5, 6. 

ij John xi. 52. z Col i. 18. a Rev. i. 9. b James i. 12. 
1 Peter i. 4. c Heb. xiii. 14 — d xi. 10, 16. 
5 R 



130 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

That we are in hope of eternal life, which God, 
that cannot lie, hath promised ^, and that all 
true believers, through grace, have eternal life 
abiding in them J. 

Sdly, We must give God thanks for the spirit- 
ual mercies bestowed upon us in particular ^ espe- 
daily if we are called with an effectual call, and 
have a good work of grace begun in us. 

(1.) We must bless God for the strivings of his 
Spirit with us, and the admonitions and checks of 
our own consciences. 

We bless thee that thou hast not given us over 
to a reprobate mind g, that our consciences are 
not seared /i, that thou hast not said concerning 
us. They are joined to idols, let them alone i, but 
that thy Spirit is yet striving with us k. 

We thank thee for the work of the law written 
in our hearts, our own consciences also bearing 
witness, and our own thoughts between them- 
selves accusing or excusing one another /. 

(2.) We must bless God if there be a saving 
change wrought in us by his blessed Spirit. 

And hath God by his grace translated us out 
of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of 
his dear Son m ? Hath he called us into the fel- 
lowship of Jesus Christ w, and made us nigh by 
his blood, who by nature were afar oflP o ? Not 
unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name 
we give glory p. 

We give thanks to God always for those to 

e Titus i. 2. f\ John v. 13. g Rom. i. 28. h 1 Tina. iv. 
2. i Hoseaiv. 17. k Gen. vi. 3. / Rom. ii. 15. m Col. i. 
13. n \ Cor.i. 9. o Eph. ii. IS, ^; Psalm ex v. 1. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 131 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

whom the gospel is come, not in word only, but 
in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much 
assurance q. 

Thou hast loved us with an everlasting love, 
and therefore with loving-kindness thou hast 
drawn us r, drawn us with the cords of* a man, 
and the bands of love j. 

When the strong man armed kept his palace 
in our hearts, and his goods were in peace, it was 
a stronger than he that came upon him, and took 
from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and 
divided the spoil s, 

(3.) We must give thanks for the remission of 
our sins, and the peace of our consciences* 

We bless thee for the redemption we have 
through Christ's blood, even the forgiveness of 
sins, according to the riches of thy grace, where- 
in thou hast abounded towards us t. 

That thou hast forgiven all our iniquities, and 
healed all our diseases u; and hast, in love to our 
souls, delivered them from the pit of corruption : 
for thou hast cast all our sins behind thy back v. 

When thou broughtest us into the wilderness, 
yet there thou spakest comfortably to us, and 
gavest us our vineyards from thence, and the 
valley of Achor for a door of hope w, 

(4.) For the powerful influences of the divine 
grace to sanctify and preserve us, to prevent our 
falling into sin, and to strengthen us in doing our 
duty, 

q 1 Thess. i. 2, 5. r Jer. xxxi. 3. ;* Hosea xi. 4. s Luke 
xi. 21, 22. / Eph. i. 7. u Psalm ciii. 3. » Isa. xxxviii. 17. 
tu Hosea ii. 14, 15. 



132 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

Thou hast not quenched the smoking flax, nor 
broke the bruised reed x, nor despised the day 
of small things y; but having obtained help of 
God, we continue hitherto z. 

In the day when we cried, thou hast answered 
us, and strengthened us with strength in our 
souls a. 

We have been continually with thee, thou hast 
holden us by thy right hand, when our feet were 
almost gone, and our steps had well nigh slipt h. 

We have reason never to forget thy precepts, 
for by them thou hast quickened us ; and unless 
thy law had been our delight, we should many a 
time have perished in our affliction ; for thy sta- 
tutes have been our songs in the house of our 
pilgrimage c. 

Unless the Lord had been our help, our souls 
had almost dwelt in silence : But when we said, 
our foot slippeth, thy mercy, O Lord, held us 
up : And in the multitude of our thoughts with- 
in us, thy comforts have been the delight of our 
souls d. 

(5.) For the sweet communion mth God in holy 
ordinances, and the communications of his favour. 

We have been abundantly satisfied with the 
fatness of thy house, and thou hast made us drink 
of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the 
fountain of life, in thy light shall we see light e. 

Thou hast brought us to thy holy mountain, 

X Matt. xii. 20. y Zech. iv. 10. z Actsxxvi. 22. a Psalm 

cxxxviii. 3. b Ixxiii. 2, 3 c cxix. 92, 93 — d xciv. 17, 18, 

19.— e XXX vi. 8, 9. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 13^ 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

and made us joyful in thy house of prayer^ and 
we have found it good for us to draw near to 
God g. 

We have had reason to say, That a day in thy 
courts is better than a thousand; and that it is 
better to be door-keepers in the house of our God, 
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness ; for the 
Lord God is a sun and shield, he will give grace 
and glory, and no good thing will he withhold 
from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, 
blessed is the man that trusteth in thee h. 

We have sat down under thy shadow with de- 
light, and thy fruit hath been sweet unto our 
taste ; thou hast brought us into the banqueting 
house, and thy banner over us has been love i, 
^ (6.) For gracious answers to our prayers. 

We have reason to love thee, O Lord, because 
thou hast heard the voice of our supplications j 
and because thou hast inclined thine ear unto us, 
we will therefore call upon thee as long as we 
live k. 

Out of the depths have we called unto thee, O 
Lord /, and thou hast heard our vows, and given 
us the heritage of those that fear thy name m. 

Nay, before we have called, thou hast answer- 
ed; and while we have been yet speaking, thou 
hast heard w, and hast said. Here I am o, and 
hast been nigh unto us in all that which we call 
unto thee for^. 

/Isa. Ivi. 7. g Psalm Ixxiii. 28 h Ixxxiv. 10, 11, 12. 

i Cant. ii. 3, 4. k Psalna cxvi. 1, 2. — / cxxx. 1. — m Ixi. 5. 
n Isa. IxT. 2*.— Iviii. 9. p Deut. iv. 7. 



LIBRARY ST. GARY'S COLLEGE 



134 A METHOD CHAP. IV. 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 



k«^«« «%«.%< 



Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the hum- 
ble, thou wilt prepare their hearts, and cause 
thine ear to hear q. 

Blessed be God, who hath not turned away 
our prayer, or his mercy from us r; for we have 
prayed, and have gone away, and our counte- 
nance has been no more sad J. 

(7.) For support under afflictions^ and spiritual 
benefit and advantage by them. 

Thou hast comforted us in all our tribulation, 
hast considered our trouble 5, and known our 
souls in adversity, and showed us thy marvellous 
kindness as in a strong city t* 

When afflictions have abounded, consolations 
have much more abounded u. 

Though no affliction for the present hath been 
joyous but grievous; nevertheless, afterwards it 
hath yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness, 
and hath proved to be for our profit, that we 
might be partakers of thy holiness v. 

We have had reason to say, that it was good 
for us we were afflicted, that we might learn thy 
commandments ; for before we were afflicted we 
went astray, but afterwards have kept thy word u\ 

It has been but for a season, and when there 
was need, that we were in heaviness through 
manifold temptations : And we beg that all the 
trials of our faith may be found unto praise, and 
honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus 
Christ; whom having not seen we love; in whom, 

q Psalm X. 17.— r Ixvi. 20. j 1 Sam. i. 18. s2 Cor. i. 4. 
/ Psalm cxxxi. 7, 21. u 2 Cor. i. 5. v Heb. xii. 10, 11. 
tv Psalm cxix. 67, 71. 



CHAP. IV. FOR PRAYER. 135 

Thanksgivings for Mercy. 

though now we see him not, yet believing, we 
rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory ; 
are longing to receive the end of our faith, even 
the salvation of our souls .r. 

(8.) For the performance of God's promises. 

Thou hast dealt well with thy servants, O Lord, 
according to thy word i/, and thou hast been ever 
mindful of thy covenant, the word which thou 
hast commanded to a thousand generations z. 

There hath not failed one word of all the good 
j)romise, which thou hast promised to David thy 
servant, and Israel thy people a. 

And now what shall we render unto the Lord 
for all his benefits towards us ? Let our souls 
return to him, and repose in him as their rest, 
because he hath dealt bountifully with us ; we 
will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the 
name of the Lord b: For the Lord is good, and 
his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth 
to all generations c. 

We will bless the Lord at all times, yea, his 
praise shall continually be in our mouths d; we 
will sing unto the Lord as long as we live e; and 
we hope to be shortly with those blessed ones 
who dwell in his house above, and are still prais- 
ing him, and who rest not day nor night from 
saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty/. 

X 1 Peter i. 6, 7, 8, 9. 7/ Psalm cxix. 65 --z cv. 8. 

a 1 Kings viii. 56^ 66. b Psalm cxvi. 7, 12, 13. c Paalra 
c. 5. — d xxxiv. 1. — e civ. 33. y* Rev. iv. 8. 



136 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for others. 



CHAP. V. 

Of the fifth Fart ofPnAYERy which is, Intercessioriy 
or Address and Supplication to God for others. 

Our Lord Jesus hath taught us to pray, not 
only with, but for others. And the apostle hath 
appointed us to make supplication for all saints : 
and many of his prayers, in his epistles, are for 
his friends. And we must not think, that when 
we are in this part of prayer, we may let fall our 
fervency, and be more indifferent, because we 
ourselves are not immediately concerned in it, 
but rather let a holy fire of love, both to God 
and man, here make our devotions yet more 
warm and lively g, 

1. We must praj/ for the whole world of manhind, 
the lost world h : and thus we must honour all men^ 
and according to our capacity do good to all men i. 

We pray, as we are taught, for all men, believ- 
ing that this is good and acceptable in the sight 
of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be 
saved, an(J .to come unto the knowledge of the 
truth, and of Jesus Christ, who gave himself a 
ransom for all k, 

O look with compassion upon the world that lies 
in wickedness /, and let the prince of this world 
be cast out m, that has blinded their minds «. 

g Eph. vi. 18. h 1 Peter il. 17. i Gal. vi. 10. Jc 1 Tinr. 
ii. .S, 4. / 1 John V. 19. mJohnxii. 31. w 2 Cor. iv. 4. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 137 

Intercession for Others. 

O let thy way be known upon earth, that bar- 
barous nations may be civilized o, and those that 
live without God in the world may be brought 
to the service of the living Godp: and thus let 
thy saving health be known unto all nations. 
Let the people praise thee, O God ; yea, let all 
the people praise thee: O let the nations be glad 
and sing for joy, for thou shalt judge the people 
righteously, and govern the nations upon earth q, 
O let thy salvation and thy righteousness be 
openly shown in the sight of the heathen, and 
let all the ends of the earth see the salvation of 
our God r. 

O give thy Son the heathen for his inheritance, 
and the uttermost parts of the earth for his pos- 
session J : For thou hast said, it is a light thing 
for him to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to re- 
store the preserved of Israel, but thou wilt give 
him for a light to the Gentiles 5. 

Let all the kingdoms of this world become the 
kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ /. 

2. For the propagating of the gospel in foreign 
parts, and the enlargement of the church by the 
bringing in of many to it- 

O let the gospel be preached unto every crea- 
ture u; for how shall men believe in him of whom 
they have not heard ? and how shall they hear 
without preachers ? and how shall they preach 

Psalm Ixvii. 2. p Eph.ii. 12. q Psalm Ixvii. 3, 4. — 

r xcviii. 2, 3 — -j ii. 8. s Isa. xlix, 6. t Rev. xi. 15. u Mark 
xvi. 16. 

5 S 



138 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 

except they be sent v ? and who shall send forth 
labourers but the Lord of the harvest w. 

Let the people which sit in darkness see a 
great light, and to them which sit in the region 
and shadow of death, let light spring up oc. 

Add unto thy church daily such as shall be 
saved ^; enlarge the place of its tents, lengthen 
its cords, and strengthen its stakes z. 

Bring thy seed from the east, and gather them 
from the west; say to the north, Give up; and to 
the south. Keep not back: Bring thy sons from 
far, and thy daughters from the ends of the earth a. 
Let them come with acceptance to thy altar, and 
glorify the house of thy glory; let them fly as a 
cloud, and as the doves to their windows b. 

In every place let incense be offered to thy 
name, and pure offerings: And from the rising 
of the sun to the going down of the same, let 
thy name be great among the Gentiles c; and let 
the offering up of the Gentiles be acceptable, be- 
ing sanctified by the Holy Ghost d. 

O let the earth be full of the knowledge of the 
Lord, as the waters cover the sea e, 

S, For the conversion of the Jews. 

Let the branches which are broken off not 
abide still in unbelief, but be grafted in again 
into their own olive tree. And though blindness 
hath in part happened to Israel, yet let the fuU 

V Rom. X. 14, 15. ry Mat. ix. 38. — x iv. 16. y Acts ii. 

-47. z Isa. liv. 2.— a xliii. 5, 6 b Ix. 7, 8. c Mai, i. 11. 

d Rom. XV. 16. e Isa. xi. 9. j^^ 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER, 1 39 

Intercession for Others. 

ness of the Gentiles come in, and let all Israel be 
saved/. 

Let them be made to look unto him whom 
they have pierced g; and that they may turn to 
the Lord, let the vail which is upon their hearts 
be taken away //. 

4. For the Eastern churches, that are groaning 
under the yoke of Mahometan tyranny. 

Let the churches of Asia, that were golden 
candlesticks /, which the Lord Jesus delighted 
to walk in the midst of, be again made so k. 

Restore unto them their liberties as at first, 
and their privileges as at the beginning; purely 
purge away their dross, and take away all their 
tin /, and turn again their captivity as streams 
in the south m. 

5. For the churches in the Plantations, 
Be thou the confidence of all the ends of the 
earth, and of those that are far beyond the sea w: 
And let them have the blessing which came up- 
on the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the 
head of him that was separated from his breth- 
ren, and to the utmost bound of the everlasting 
hills 0. 

Create peace to those that are afar off, as well 
as to those that are nigh p. 

And let those that suck of the abundance of 
the seas, and of the treasures hid in the sand, 
call the people to the mountain, that they may 
offer sacrifices of righteousness q, 

J Rom. xi. 23, 24, 25. 26. g Zech. xii. 10. A 2 Cor. 
iii. 16. % Rev. i. 11, 12.— A ii. 1. / Isa. i. 25, 26. m Psalm 
cxxvi. 4?.— n Ixv. 5. o Gen. xlix. 26. p Isa. Ivii. 19. 

q Deut. xxxiii. 1. 



140 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 

6. For the universal churchy wherever dispersed ^ 
and for all the interests of it. 

Our hearts* desire and prayer to God for the 
gospel Israel is, that it may be saved r. 
*•- Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion, build 
the walls of Jerusalem J. Peace be within her 
walls, and prosperity within her palaces : for our 
brethren and companions' sake, we will now say. 
Peace be within her s. 

O that we may see the good of the gospel Je- 
rusalem all the days of our life, and peace upon 
Israel t. And that thus we may have reason to 
answer the messengers of the nations. That the 
Lord had founded Zion, and the poor of his peo- 
ple shall trust to that u. A i\\\ 
Save thy people, O Lord, and bless thine in- 
heritance: Feed them also, and lift them up for 
ever v. Give strength unto thy people, and bless 
them with peace w; with thy favour do thou 
compass them as with a shield a:. 

Grace be with all them that love the Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity y ^ for thou knowest 
them that are thine : And give to all that name 
the name of Christ, to depart from iniquity z. 

We pray for all that believe in Christ, that they 
all may be one a: And since there is one body, 
and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one 
Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and 
Father of all 6, give to all Christians to be of one 
heart, and one way c. 

r Rom. X. 1. j Psalm li. 18. — s cxxii. 7, 8. — t cxxvii. 5, 
6. u Isa. xiv. 32. u Psalm xxviii. 9. — toxxix. 11 — x v. 12. 
7j Eph. vf. 2k z 2 Tim. ii. 19. a John xvii. 20, 21. 

b Eph. iv. 4, 5, 6. c Jer. xxxii. 39. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 141 

Intercession for Others. 

Let the word of the Lord, in all places, have 
free course, and let it be glorified d. 

7. For the conviction and conversion of atheists j 
deists, and irifidels, and of all that are out of the 
*way of truth, and of profane scoffers, and those 
that disgrace Christianity by their vicious and im- 
moral lives. 

O teach transgressors thy ways, and let sinners 
be converted unto thee e, 

O give them repentance to the acknowledging 
of the truth, the truth as it is in Jesus^ the truth 
which is according to godliness^, that they may 
recover themselves out of the snare of the devil h. 

Let those, that are as sheep going astray, re- 
turn to Jesus Christ the Shepherd and Bishop of 
our souls i. 

Show those fools their folly and misery, that 
have said in their hearts there is no God, and that' 
are corrupt, and have done abominable works k. 

Lord, maintain the honour of the scripture, 
the law and the testimony, and convince those 
who speak not according to that word, that it is 
because there is no light in them /; magnify that 
word above all thy name m; magnify the law, 
magnify the gospel, and make both honourable w. 

Let those that will not be won by the word, 
be won by the conversation of Christians o; which 
we beg may be such in every thing, that they 
who believe not may be convinced of all, and 

d 2 Thess. iii. 1. e Psalm li. 13. /Eph. iv. 21. g Tit. 
i. 1. h2 Tim. ii. 25, 26. i 1 Peter ii. 25. k Psalm xiv. 1. 
/ Tea. viii. 2. m Psalm cxxxviii. 2. n Isa. xlii. 2J. 

1 Pet. iii. 1. 



14S A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 



^^*%^^»%%%%»%^%^%'»%^»»^ 



judged of all, may be brought to worship God, 
and to report that God is with them of a truth/?. 
8. For the amending of every thing that is amiss 
in the church, the reviving of primitive Christianity 
and the power of godliness, and in order thereunto, 
the pouring out of the Spirit. 

Lord, let thy Spirit be poured out upon thy 
churches from on high ; and then the wilderness 
shall become a fruitful field q, then judgment 
shall return unto righteousness, and all the up- 
right in heart shall follow it r. : » 
Let what is wanting be set in order 7, and let 
every plant, that is not of our heavenly Father's 
planting, be plucked up s. 

Let the Lord whom we seek come to his tem- 
ple like a refiner's fire and fuller's soap, and let 
him purify the sons of Levi and all the seed of 
Israel, and purge them as gold and silver, that 
they may offer unto the Lord an offering in 
righteousness, pleasant to the Lord, as in the 
days of old, as in former years t. 

Let pure religion, and undefiled before God 
and the Father, flourish and prevail every wherew, 
that kingdom of God among men, which is not 
meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost i;. O revive this work 
in the midst of the years, in the midst of the 
years make known w, and let our times be times 
of reformation x, 

9. For the breaking of the power of all the 

p 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. q Isa. xxxii. 15. r Psalra xciv. 15. 
7 .Tit. i. 5. s Mat. xv. 13. / Mai. iii. S, 4?. u James i. 27. 
V Rom. xiv, 17. 10 Hab. iii. 2. x Heb. ix. 10. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 143 

Intercession for Others. 

enemies of the churchy and the defeating of all their 
designs against hen 

Let all that set themselves, and take counsel 
together against the Lord, and against his 
Anointed, that would break their bands asunder, 
and cast away their cords from them, imagine a 
vain thing. Let him that sits in heaven laugh 
at them, and have them in derision; speak unto 
them in thy wrath, and vex them in thy sore dis- 
pleasure z^. Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou 
give them? Give them a miscarrying womb and 
dry breasts z. 

O our God, make them like a wheel, and as stub- 
ble before the wind: Fill their faces with shame, 
that they may seek thy name, O Lord; and that 
men may know that thou, whose name is JEHO- 
VAH, art the most high over all the earth a. 

Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may 
know themselves to be but men b, and wherein 
the proud enemies of thy church deal proudly, 
make it to appear that thou art above them c. 

Let them be confounded and turned back that 
hate Zion, and be as the grass upon the house- 
tops, which withereth before it grow up d. 

Let no weapon formed against thy church 
prosper, and let every tongue that riseth against 
it in judgment be condemned e. 

Make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all 
people, and let all that burden themselves with 

y Psalm ii. 1, 2, 3, 4-, 5. z Hosea ix. 14. a Psalna Ixxxiii. 
13, 16, IS.—b ix. 20. c Exod. xviii. 11. d Psalm cxxix. 
5,6, elsa. liv. 17. 



144 A METHOD 



CHAP. V, 



Intercession for Others. 



it be cut in pieces, though all the people of the 
earth should be gathered together against ilf; 
so let all thy enemies perish, O Lord, but let 
them that love thee be as the sun when he goes 
forth in his strength g. 

Lord, let the man of sin be consumed with 
the Spirit of thy mouth, and destroyed with the 
brightness of thy coming. And let those be un- 
deceived that have been long under the power of 
strong delusions to believe a lie, and let them re- 
ceive the truth in the love of it h. 

Let Babylon fall, and sink like a millstone into 
the sea i ; and let the kings of the earth, that 
have given their power and honour to the beast k^ 
be wrought upon at length to bring it into the 
New Jerusalem /. 

10. For the relief of suffering churches^ and the 
support^ comforty and deliverance of all that are 
persecuted Jor righteousness* sake. 

We desire in our prayers to remember them 
that are in bonds for the testimony of Jesus, as 
bound with them, and them which suffer adver- 
sity, as being ourselves also in the body tw. O 
send from above, and deliver them from those 
that hate them, and bring them forth into a large 
place w. 

O let not the rod of the wicked rest upon the 
lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth 
their hands unto iniquity o. 

yZech. xii. 3. g Judges v. 31. h 2 Thess. ii. 2, 3, 8, 
10, 11. i ReT. xviii. 2, 21 — k xvii. 17— /xxi. 24. m Heb. 
xiii. 3. n Psalm xviii. 16, 17, 19. — o cxx?. 3. 



CHAP. V, FOR PRAYER. 145 

Intercession for others. 



Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the 
Lord; awake as in the ancient days, as in the ge- 
nerations of old, and make the depths of the sea a 
way for the ransomed of the Lord to pass over j9. 

For the oppression of the poor, and the sighing 
of the needy, now do thou arise, O Lord, and set 
them in safety from them that puff at them q, 

O strengthen the patience and faith of thy 
suffering saints r, that they may hope and quietly 
wait for the salvation of the LordJ. 

O let the year of thy redeemed come ^, and the 
year of recompences for the controversy of Zion t, 

O that the salvation of Israel were come out 
of Zion: and when the Lord bringeth back the 
captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and 
Israel shall be glad u. 

O let not the oppressed return ashamed, but 
let the poor and needy praise thy name v. 

Lord, arise and have mercy upon Zion, and let 
the time to favour her, yea, the set time come; 
yea, let the Lord build up Zion, and appear in his 
glory. Lord, regard the prayer of the destitute, 
and do not despise their prayer tt?. 

O Lord God, cease, we beseech thee; by whom 
shall Jacob arise, for he is small x? O cause 
thy face to shine upon that part of the sanctuary 
that is desolate, for the Lord's sake y» 

Let the sorrowful sighing of thy prisoners 

jp Isa. li. 9, 10. q Psalm xii. 5. r Rev. xiii. 10. j Lam. 
iii. 26. s Isa. Ixiii. 4 — t xxxiv. 8. u Psalm xiv. 7.— 

t) Ixxiv. 21. — w cii. 13, 16, 17- x Amos ▼». 5. y Dan. ix, 17. 
5 T 



146 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 

come before thee ; and according to the greatness 
of thy power, preserve thou those that for thy 
Name's sake are appointed to die z. 

Let those, whose teachers are removed into cor- 
ners, again see their teachers, though they have 
the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction a, 
11. For the nations oJEurope^ and the countries 
about us. 

Thou, Lord, art the Governor among the na- 
tions b: Who shall not fear thee, O King of na- 
tions c ! Thou sittest in the throne judging right, 
judge the world therefore in righteousness, and 
minister judgment to the people in uprightness d. 
Lord, hasten the time when thou wilt make 
wars to cease to the ends of the earth e ; when 
nation shall no more lift up sword against nation, 
nor kingdom against kingdom, but swords shall 
be beaten into plough-shares, and spears into 
pruning hopks, and they shall not learn war any 
more^ 

^: Make kings nursing fathers, and their queens 
nursing mothers, to the Israel of God ^. 

And in the days of these kings let the God of 
heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be 
destroyed, even the kingdom of the Redeemer h. 
And whatever counsels there are in men's hearts. 
Lord, let thy counsel stand i, and do thou fulfil 
the thoughts of thy heart unto all generations k, 

,:. z Psalm Ixxix. 11. a Isa. xxx. 20. b Psalm xxii. 28. 
c Jer. X. 7. d Psalm ix. 4, 8. — e xlvi. 9. ./Isa. ii. 4. 

g Isa. x^ix. 23. h Dan. ii. 44. t Prov. xix. 21*. k Fs. 
xxxiii. 11. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 147 

Intercession for Others. 



>^^*^»^%%%*%^^»*»^^»% 



12. For our own la7id and nation^ the happy 
islands of Great Britain and Ireland, "which we 
ought in a special manner to seek the welfare of^ 
that in the peace thereof we may have peace. 

1. We must be thankful to God for his mercies 
to our land. 

We bless thee that thou hast planted us in a 
very fruitful hill /, and hast not made the wilder- 
ness our habitation, or the barren land our dwell- 
ing m, but our land yield's her increase n. 

Lord, thou hast dealt favourably with our 
land 0; we have heard with our ears, and bur 
fathers have told us what work thou didst for us in 
their days, and in the times of old p; and as we 
have heard, so have we seen; for we have thought 
of thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of 
thy temple q. 

Thou hast given us a pleasant land r ; it is Im- 
manuel's land j, it is a valley of vision s ; thou 
hast set up thy tabernacle among us, and thy 
sanctuary is in the midst of us t 
' We dwell safely under our own vines and fig- 
trees w, and there is peace to him that goeth out 
and to him that cometh in v. 

And because the Lord loved our people, there- 
fore he hath set a good government over us, to 
do judgment and justice w ; to be a terror to 
evil-doers, and a protection and praise to them 
that do well .r. 

' I Isa. V. 1. m Job xxxix. 6. n Psalm Ixxxv. 12 — 

o Ixxxv. 1 — p xliv. 1 . y xlviii. 8, 9. r Jcr. iii. 1 9. ; Is». 
viii. 8. — s xxii. 1. t Ezek. xxxvii. 26, 37. n 1 Kings iv. 25. 
V 2 Cluoii. XV. 5. to 1 Kings x. 9. x Rom. xiii. 3. 



148 A MElTHOD CHAP.V. 

iDtercession for Others. 



V- 2, We must be humbled before God for our na- 
iional sins and provocations. 

But we are a sinful people, a people laden with 
iniquity, a seed of evil doers ^ .* And much reason 
we have to sigh and cry for the abominations that 
are committed among us z. 

Iniquity abounds among us, and the love of 
many is waxed cold a. 

We have not been forsaken nor forgotten of 
our God, though our land be full of sin against 
the Holy One of Israel b, 

3. We must pray earnestly for national mercies. 

1. For the favour of God to us^ and the tokens 
of his presence among us, as that in which the hap' 
piness of our nation is bound up. 
: O the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in 
time of trouble: Be not thou a stranger in our 
land, or a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry 
but for a night; but be thou always in the midst 
of us. We are called by thy name, O leave us not. 
Though our iniquities testify against us, yet do 
thou it for thy name*s sake; though our backslid- 
ings are many, and we have sinned against thee c. 

Turn us to thee, O Lord God of hosts, and 
then cause thy face to shine, and we shall be 
saved. O stir up thy strength, and come and 
save us d. 

Show us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy 
salvation; yea, let thy salvation be nigh them that 

y Isa. i. 4. z Ezek. ix. 4. a Matt. xxiv. 12. b Jer. li. 5. 
Q Jer. xi?. 7, 8, 9. d Psalm Ixxx. 2, 3. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 149 

Intercession for Otbers. 

fear thee, that glory raay dwell in our land. Let 
mercy and truth meet together, righteousness 
and peace kiss each other. Let truth spring out 
of the earth, and righteousness look down from 
heaven : yea, let the Lord give that which is good: 
let righteousness go before him, and set us in the 
way of his steps e. 

2. For the continuance oj the gospel amo7ig us, 
and the means of grace, and a national prof ession 
of Christ* s holy religion, 

O let the throne of Christ endure for ever 
among us/, even the place of thy sanctuary, that 
glorious high throne from the beginning g. 

Let our candlestick never be removed out of 
his place, though we have deserved it should, be- 
cause we have left our first love h. Never do to 
us as thou didst to thy place which was in Shiloh, 
where thou didst set thy name at first i. 

Let us never know what a famine of the word 
means ; nor ever be put to wander from sea to 
sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth, 
to seek the word of God k. 

Let wisdom and knowledge be the stability of 
our times, and strength of salvation, and let the 
fear of the Lord be our treasure / : Let the right- 
eous flourish among us, and let there be those 
that shall fear thee in our land, as long as the 
sun and moon endure, throughout all genera- 
tions, that there may be abundance of peace ;w, 

e Psalm Ixxxt. 7,9, 10, 11, 12, 13. /xlv. 6. g Jer. 
xvii. 12. h Rev. ii. 4, 5. i Jer. vii. 12, I*. k Amos viii. 
11, 12. / Isa. xxxiii. 6. m Psalm Ixxii. 5, 7. 



150 A METHOD CHAP. V. 



Intercession for Others. 

and that the children which shall be created may 
praise the Lord n, 

3. For the continuance of our outward peace 
and tranquillity, our liberty and plenty ; for the 
prosperity of our trade^ and a hlessijig upon the 
fruits of the earth. 

Let God himself be a wall of fire round about 
us, and the glory in the midst of us o ; yea, let 
his gospel be our glory, and upon all that glory 
let there be a defence : and create upon every 
dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her as- 
semblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shin- 
ing of a flaming fire by night p. 

Peace be within our borders, and prosperity 
within our palaces, the prosperity both of mer- 
chandise and husbandry q, that Zebulun may re- 
joice in his going out, and Issachar in his tents r. 

Appoint salvation to us for walls and bulwarks; 
and in order to that, let the gates be opened, that 
the righteous nation, which keepeth the truth, 
may enter in j. 

Make our officers peace, and our exactors 
righteousness; let violence never be heard in our 
gates, wasting or destruction in our borders, and 
let our walls be called salvation, and our gates 
praise s. Never let our land be termed forsaken 
and desolate, and let the Lord delight in us, and 
let our land be married to him U 

Let our peace be as a river, and in order to 

fi Psalm cii. 18. o Zech. ii. 5. j> Isa. tv. 5. q Psalm cxxii. 
7. r Deut. xxxiii. 18. ; Isa. xxvi. 1,2.— .s Ix. 17, 18. 

t Isa. Ixii. 4. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 151 

Intercession for Others. 

that, our righteousness as the waves of the sea u. 
Let that righteousness abound among us which 
exalteth a nation, and deliver us from sin, which 
is a reproach to any people t;. ^ym: 

Never make our heavens as brass, and our 
earth as iron w, nor take away thy corn in the 
season thereof, and thy wine in the season there- 
of ^-y but give us rain moderately^, the former 
and the latter rain in due season, and reserve un- 
to us the appointed weeks of the harvest, giving 
us fair weather also in its season z. Let our land 
yield her increase, and the trees their fruit, that 
we may eat bread and be full, and dwell in our 
land safely a. 

Abundantly bless our provision, and satisfy 
our poor with bread Z>, that they which have ga- 
thered it may eat and praise the Lord c. Blow not 
thou upon it, for then, when we look for much, 
it will come to little d; but bless our blessings, 
that all nations may call us blessed, and a delight- 
some land e. 

4. For the success of all endeavours for the re- 
formation of manners^ suppression of vice and pro- 
fanenesSy and the support of religion and virtue, 
and the bringing of them into reputation. 

O let the wickedness of the wicked come to 
an end, but establish thou the just, O thou right- 
eous God, that triest the hearts and reins^ Spi- 
rit many to rise up for thee against the evil-doers, 

u Isa. xlviii. 18. v Prov. xiv. 34-. to Deut. xxviii. 23. 
X Hosea ii. 9. y Joel ii. 23. z Jer. v. 24*. a Lev. xxvi. 4, 5. 
b Psalm cxxxii. 15. c Isa.Ixii. 9. d Hag. i. 9. e Mai. iii 
10,12. y Psalm vii. 9. 



152 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 

and to stand up for thee against the workers of 
iniquity g. 

Let the Redeemer come to Zion, and turn 
away ungodliness from Jacob h; and let the filth 
of Jerusalem be purged from the midst thereof, by 
the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning i. 

Let all iniquity stop her mouth k, and let the 
infection of that plague be stayed, by executing 
judgment /. 

Let those that are striving against sin never 
be weary or faint in their minds m. 

Cause the unclean spirit to pass out of the 
land 72, and turn to the people a pure language, 
that they may call on the name of the Lord o. 

Make us high above all nations in praise, and 
in name, and in honour, by making us a holy 
people unto the Lord our God p. 

5, For the healing of our unhappy divisions^ 
and the making up our breaches. 

For the divisions that are among us, there are 
great searchings of heart ^'z for there are three 
against two, and two against three in a house r. 
But is the breach wide as the sea, which cannot 
be healed J/* Is there no balm in Gilead? Js 
there no physician there ? Why then is not the 
health of the daughter of our people recovered s. 
Lord, heal the breaches of our land, for because 
of them it shaketh t, 

g Psalm xciv. 16. h Rom. xi. 26. i Isa, iv. 4. k Psalm 
cvii. 4-2 — / cvi, 30. n Heb. xii. 3, 4<. u Zech. xiii, 2. 

o Zeph. iii. 9. p Deut. xxvi. 19. q Judges v. 16. r Luke 
lii. 52. j Lam. ii. 13. 5 Jer. viii.22. t Psalm Ix. 2. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 153 

Intercession for Others. 



We beg, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
that there may be no divisions among us, but that 
we may be perfectly joined together in the same 
mind, and in the same judgment u. 

Now the God of patience and consolation grant 
us to be like minded one towards another, accord- 
ing to Christ Jesus, that we may with one mind 
and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ t;, and promote the com- 
mon salvation w. 

Lord, keep us from judging one another, and 
despising one another, and give us to follow af- 
ter the things which make for peace, and things 
wherewith one may edify another .r; that living 
in love and peace, the God of love and peace may 
be with us y. 

Let nothing be done through strife or vain 
glory, but every thing in lowliness of mind^; 
and grant that our moderation may be known 
unto all men, because the Lord is at hand a. 

6. For tiiciory and success against our enemies 
abroad that seek our ruin. 

Rise, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, 
and let those that hate thee fly before thee ; but 
return, O Lord, to the many thousands of thine 
Israel b. 

Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help 
of man; through God let our forces do valiant- 
ly* yea, let God himself tread down our ene- 

u 1 Cor. i. 10. V Rom. xv. 5, 6. tu Jude 2. x Rom. 

xiv. 3, 19. y 2 Cor. xiii. 11. z Phil. ii. 3. a iv. 5. 

b Num. X. 35, 36. 

5 U 



154 A METHOD CHAP. V 

Intercession for Others. 



"mies Cy and give them as dust to our sword, and 
as driven stubble to our bow d. 

Let us be a people saved by the Lord, as the 
shield of our help, and the sword of our excel- 
lency e; and make our enemies sensible that the 
Lord fighteth for us against them^^ 

Those who jeopard their lives for us in the 
high places of the field g, teach their hands to war 
and their fingers to fight: give them the shield 
of thy salvation ; and let thy right hand hold them 
up //, and cover their heads in the day of battle i. 

7. For all orders and degrees of men among us, 
and all we stand in any relation to. 

(1.) For our sovereign lord and king^ that God 
may protect his person^ preserve his healthy and 
continue his life and government longjor a public 
hlessing. 

Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy 
righteousness, that he may judge the poor of the 
people, may save the children of the needy, and 
may break in pieces the oppressor k. 

Let his throne be established with righteous- 
ness, and upheld with mercy /. Give him long 
life and length of days for ever and ever, and let 
his glory be great in thy salvation, and make him 
exceeding glad with thy countenance : Through 
the tender mercy of the most High let him not 
be moved m. 

Clothe his enemies with shame, but upon him- 

c Psalm Ix. 11,12. d Isa. xli. 2. e Deut. xxxiii. 29. 
/*Exocl. xiv. 25. g Judges v. 18. h Psalm xviil. 34^, 35— 
i cxl. 7. — k Ixxii. l, 4. / Prov. xvi. 12. m Psal. xxi. 4, 
5,6,7. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 155 

Intercession for Others. 

self let the crown flourish o, and continue him 
long, very long, a nursing father to thine Israel J9. 

(2.) For the succession in the Protestant line, that 
a blessing may attend it, that the entail of the crown 
may prove a successful expedient for the establishing 
of peace and truth in our days, securing of them 
to posterity, and the ejctingidshing the hopes of our 
popish adversaries, and all their aiders and abetters. 

Lord, preserve to us the lamp which thou hast 
ordained for thine anointed q, that the genera- 
tion to come may know thee, even the children 
which shall be born, that they may set their hope 
in God, and keep his commandments r. 

Let the Protestant succession abide before God 
for ever. O prepare mercy and truth which may 
preserve it, so will we sing praise unto thy name 
for ever J, Thus let the Lord save Zion, and 
build the cities of Judah, and the seed of thy ser- 
vants shall inherit it, and they that love thy name 
shall dwell therein s. 

Let their design, who would make a captain to 
return into Egypt /, be again defeated ; and let 
not the deadly wound that hath been given to the 
beast be healed any more u. 

Let our eyes see Jerusalem, the city of our 
solemnities, a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that 
shall not be taken down: Let none of the stakes 
thereof be removed, nor any of the cords there- 
of be broken, but let the glorious Lord be to us 

o Fsalm cxxxii. 18. p Isa. xlix. 23. q Psalm cxxxii. 17. 
^-^ Ixxviii. 6, 7 — :;' Ixi. 7, 8. — s Ixix. 35, 36. t Num. xiv. 4. 
n Rev. xiii. 12. 



156 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 



a place of broad waters and streams; for the Lord 
is our Judge, the Lord is our Law-giver, the 
Lord is our King, he will save us v. 

(3.) For the privy counsellors, the ministers of 
state, the members of Parliament, the ambassadors 
and envoys abroad, and all that are employed in 
the conduct of public affairs. 

Counsel our counsellors, and teach our sena- 
tors wisdom *w : O give them a spirit of wisdom 
and understanding, a spirit of counsel and might, 
a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, 
to make them of quick understanding in the fear 
of the Lord x. 

O remove not the speech of the trusty, nor 
take away the understanding of the aged y, nor 
ever let the things that belong to the nation's 
peace be hid from the eyes of those that are en- 
trusted with the nation's counsels z. 

Make it to appear that thou standest in the 
congregation of the mighty, and judgest among 
the gods a, and that when the princes of the 
people are gathered together, even the people of 
the God of Abraham, the God of Abraham him- 
self is among them: And let the shields of the 
earth belong unto the Lord, that he may be 
greatly exalted h. 

Let those that be of us build the old waste 
places, and raise up the foundation of manygenerr 
ations, that they may be called the repairers of 
the breaches, and restorers of paths to dwell in c. 

V Isa. xxxiii. 20, 21, 22. to Psalm cv. 22. x Isa. xi. 2, 3. 
y Job xii. 20. z Luke xix. 42. a P^alm Ixxxii. 1. — b xlvii. ^ 
c Isa. Iviii. 12. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 157 

Intercession for Others. 

(4.) For the magistrates, the judges, and jus- 
ikes of peace in the several counties and corpora^- 
tions. 

Make those that rule over us just, ruling in 
the fear of God d; and let those that judge re- 
member that they judge not for man, but for the 
Lord, who is with them in the judgment, that 
therefore the fear of the Lord may be upon 
them e. 

Make them able men, and men of truth, fear- 
ing God and hating covetousnessy) that judg- 
ment may run down like a river, and righteous- 
ness as a mighty stream g. 

Enable our magistrates to defend the poor and 
fatherless; to do justice for the afflicted and needy, 
to deliver the poor and needy, and to rid them 
out of the hand of the wicked //, and let rulers 
never be a terror to good works, but to the evil k. 

(5.) For all the ministers of God's holy word 
and sacraments, the masters of assemblies. 

Teach thy ministers how they ought to behave 
themselves in the house of God, which is the 
church of the living God /, that they may not 
preach themselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord niy 
and may study to show themselves approved to 
God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, 
rightly dividing the word of truth w. 

Make them mighty in the scriptures o, that 

c? 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. c 2 Chron. xix. 6, 7- ./Exod. xviii. 21. 
g Amos V. 24?. h Psalm Ixxxii. 3, 4. k Rom. xiii. 3. 1 Pet. 
ii. 14. / 1 Tim. iii. 15. m 2 Cor. iv. 5, n 2 Tim, \\, 15. 
ft Acts J^viii. 2^. 



158 A METHOD CHAP. V. 

Intercession for Others. 



from thence they may be thoroughly furnished 
for every good work p^ in doctrine showing un- 
corruptness, gravity, and sincerity, and sound 
speech, which cannot be condemned q. 

Enable them to give attendance to reading, to 
exhortation, to doctrine, to meditate upon these 
things ; to give themselves to prayer, and to the 
ministry of the word r; to give themselves wholly 
to them, and to continue in them, that they may 
both save themselves and those that hear themj. 

Let utterance be given to them, that they 
may open their mouths boldly, to make known 
the mystery of the gospel, that thereof they may 
speak as they ought to speak 5, as able ministers 
of the New Testament, not of the letter but of 
the Spirit /, and let them obtain mercy of the 
Lord to be faithful u. 

Let the arms of their hands be made strong 
by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob v; and 
let them be full of power by the Spirit of the 
Lord of hosts w, to show thy people their trans- 
gressions, and the house of Jacob their sins x. 

Make them sound in the faith y, and enable 
them always to speak the things which become 
sound doctrine z, with meekness instructing 
those that oppose themselves; and let not the 
servants of the Lord strive, but be gentle to all 
men, apt to teach a, 

p 2 Tim. iii. 17. q Titus ii. 7, 8. r 1 Tim. iv. 13, 15, 16. 
j Acts vi. 4. * Eph. vi. 19, 20. t 2 Cor. iii. 6. u 1 Cor. 
vii. 25. V Gen. xlix. 24'. tu Micah iii. 8. x Ist. Ifiii. 1. 
y Tit. i. 13 z ii. 1. a 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. 159 

Intercession for Others. 

Make them good examples to the believers, in 
word, in conversion, in charity, in spirit, in 
faith, in purity h; and let them be clean that 
bear the vessels of the Lord c ; and let holiness 
to the Lord be written upon their foreheads d. 

Lord, grant that they may not labour in vain, 
or spend their strength for nought and in vain e ; 
but let the hand of the Lord be with them, that 
many may believe, and turn to the Lord/. 

(6.) For all the universities y schools, and nur- 
series of learning. 

Let the schools of the prophets be replenished 
with every good gift, and every perfect gift from 
above, from the Father of lights g. 

Cast salt into those fountains, and heal the wa- 
ters thereof//, that from thence may issue streams, 
which shall make glad the city of our God, the 
holy place of the tabernacles of the most High i. 

(70 For the common people of the land. 

Give grace to all the subjects of this land, that 
they may, under the government God hath set 
over us, live quiet and peaceable lives, in all god- 
liness and honesty, dwelling together in unity, 
that the Lord may command a blessing upon us, 
even life for evermore k. 

Let all, of every denomination, that fear God, 
and work righteousness, be accepted of him I ; 
yea, let such as love thy salvation say continually, 

b 1 Tim. iv. 12. c Isa. Hi. 11. d Exod. xxviii. 36. 

e Isa. xlix. 4. y* Acts xi. 21. g James i. IV. h 2 Kings 
ii. 21. i Psalm xlvi. 4. k 1 Tim. ii. 2. Psalm cxxxiii. 1, 3. 
/ Acts X. 35. 



160 A METHOD CHAP. V. 



Intercession for Others. 

The Lord be magnified, that hath pleasure in the 
prosperity of his servants m. 

(8.) For the several ages and conditions of men 
as they stand in need of mercy and grace, 

1. For those that are youngs and setting out in 
the world. 

Lord, give to those that are young to remem- 
ber their Creator in the days of their youth, that 
thereby they may be kept from the vanity which 
childhood and youth are subject to, and may be 
restrained from walking in the way of their heart, 
and in the sight of their eyes, by considering, 
that for all these things God will bring them into 
judgment n. 

Lord, make young people sober-minded (?, and 
let the word of God abide in them, that they may 
be strong, and may overcome the wicked one p. 

From the womb of the morning let Christ have 
the dew of thy youth ^, and let him be formed 
in the hearts of those that are young r. 

Keep those that are setting out in the world 
from the corruption that is in the world through 
lustj, and give to those that have been well educa- 
ted to hold fast the form of sound words, and to 
continue in the things which they have learned s, 

2. For those that are old, and are of long stand- 
ing in profession. 

There are some that are old disciples of Jesus 

m Psaira xxxv. 27. n Eccl. xii. 1. xi. 9, 10. o Tit. ii. 6. 
;?lJohnii. 14# y Psalm ex. 3. rGal. iv. 19. 7" 2 Pet. i. 4. 
s2 Tim.i. 13. iii. 1. 



CHAP. V. FOR PRAYER. I6l 

■»^v^<^^^»»»%%%%%%%V%»»%%%%V^^^V| ««'*«*«»% »■%»»»»*%*■% »^*%*<^%%j %»%%»% ^l%^'»»* 

Intercession for others. 

Christ t; Lord, give them still to bring forth fruit 
in old age, to show that the Lord is upright; that 
he is their Rock, and there is no unrighteousness 
in him w. Now the evil days are come, and the 
years of which they say there is no pleasure in 
them t;, let thy comforts delight their souls w, 
: Even to their old age be thou he, and to hoary 
hairs do thou carry them thou hast made : we be- 
seech thee, bear; yea, do thou carry and deliver 
them .r. 

Those whom thou hast taught from their youth 
up, and have hitherto declared all thy wondrous 
works, now also, when they are old and grey- 
headed, leave them not, cast them not ofFin their 
old age, fail them not when their strength 
fails 7/. 

Let every hoary head be a crown of glory to 
those that have it, being found in the way of 
righteousness 2, and give them to know whom 
they have believed a. 

: 3. For those that are rich and prosperous in the 
world, some ofivhom perhaps need prayers as much 
as those that request them. 

Keep, Lord, those that are rich in the world 
from being high-minded, and trusting in uncer- 
tain riches. Give them to trust in thee the living 
God, who giveth us richly all things to. enjoy: 
That they may do good, and be rich in good 

/ Acis xxi. 16. M Psalm xcii. M, 15. ^Eccl. xii. I. 
to Psalm xciv. 19. x Isa. xlvi. 4. y Psalm iRi. 9. 17, 18. 
2 Prov.xvi. 31. a 2 Tim. i. 12. -^ 

■ % 



6 



V 



16^ A METHOD CHAP. V. 

. , Intercession for Others. 

works, ready to distribute, willing to communi- 
cate, that they may lay up in store for themselves 
a good security for the time to come b. 

Though it is hard for those that are rich to 
tenter the kingdom of heaven, yet with thee this 
is possible c. 

4. For those that are poor and in affliction, for 
such we have always with us. 

Lord, make those that are poor in the world 
rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom d, and 
give to them to receive the gospel e. 

O that the poor of the flock may wait upon 
thee, and may know the word of the Lord^- 

Many are the troubles of the righteous, good 
Lord deliver them out of them all^; and though 
no affliction for the present seems to be joyous> 
but grievous, nevertheless afterwards let it yield 
the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that 
are exercised thereby h. 

5, For our enemies and those that hate us. 
Lord, give us to love our enemies, to bless them 

that curse us, and to pray for them that despite- 
fully use and persecute us i. 

Father, forgive them, for they know not what 
they do k ; and lay not their malice against us 
to their charge /, and work in us a disposition to 
Forbear and forgive in love rw, as thou requirest 
we should when we pray n. 

b 1 Tim. vi. 1 7, 1 8, 1 9. c Matt. xix. 23, 26. d James 
ii. 5. e ^•lt.xi. 5. /Zech. xi. 11. g Psalm xxxiv. 19. 
h Heb. xii. 11. i Matt. v. 41'. k Luke xxiii. 34. / Acts 
vii. 60, m Qpl. iii. 13. n Mark xi. 25. ^ 



168 



CHAF. VI. FOR PRAYER. 

Occasional Addresses. 



And grant that our ways may so please the 
Lord, that even our enemies may be at peace 
with us 0. Let the wolf and the lamb lie down 
together ; and let there be none to hurt or de- 
stroy in all thy holy mountain ; let not Ephraira 
envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim p. 

6. For our friends and those who love us. 

And we wish, for all those whom we love in 
truth, that they may prosper and be in health, 
eepecially that their souls may prosper q. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with 
their spirits r. 



CHAPTER VL 

Of Addresses to God upon particular occasions^ 
'whether Domestic or Public, 

It is made our duty, and prescribed as a remedy 
against disquieting care, that in every thing, by 
prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we 
should make our requests known to God j. And 
it is part of the Parrhesia, the boldness, the liberty 
of speech (so the word signifies), which is allowed 
us in our access to God s, that we may be par- 
ticular in opening our case, and seek^g to him 

o Prov. xvi. 7. p Isa. xi. 6, 9, 13. y 3 Jphn 2. r Pbilem. 
25. j Phil. iv. 6. ^s Heb.x. 19. « . ^ ' ' * 



l64< A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

for relief; that according as the sore and the grief 
is, accordingly the prayers and the supplication 
may be by any man, or by the people of Israel t. 
Not that God needs to be particularly informed 
of onr condition, he knows it better than we our- 
selves do, and our souls too in our adversity ; but 
it is his will that we should thus acknowledge him 
in all our ways ?/, and wait upon him for the direc- 
tion of every step v, not prescribing, but subscrib- 
ing to infinite wisdom, humbly showing him our 
wants, burdens, and desires, and then referring 
ourselves to him, to do for us as he thinks fit. 

We shall instance some of the occasions of par- 
ticular address to God, more or less usual, which 
may either be the principal matter of a whole 
prayer, or inserted in our other prayers ; and in 
some cases that are more peculiar to ministers 
or others, or in common to them with masters of 
families and private Christians. As there may be 
something particular, 

1. In our morning prayers. 

Our voice shalt thou now hear in the morning. 
In the morning will we direct our prayer unto 
thee, and look up w; for our souls wait for thee, 
O Lord, more than they that watch for the morn- 
ing; yea, more than they that watch for the morn- 
ing a: ; and we will sing aloud of thy mercy in the 
morning; for thou hast been our defence ^. 

It is thou, O God, that hast commanded the 
morning, 0id caused the day-spring to know its 

t 2 Chron. vi. 29. u Prov. ili, 6. #P<alni xxxvii. 2S, 
— w V. S.— 4rcxxx. 6. — y lix. 16. 



[ 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. l65 

Occasional Addresses. 

place, that it might take hold of the ends of the 
earth, and it is turned as clay to the seal z. 

The day is thine, the night also is thine, thou 
hast prepared the light and the sun a. 

With the light of the morning let the day- 
spring from on high visit us, to give us the know- 
ledge of salvation through the tender mercies 
of our God b. And let the Sun of Righteousness 
ariseuponoursoulswith healing under his wingsc; 
and our path be as the shining light, which shines 
more and more to the perfect day d. 

It is of thy mercy, O Lord, that we are not 
consumed, even because thy compassions fail not j 
they are new every morning j great is thy faith- 
fulness e.* And if weeping sometimes endures 
for a night, joy comes in the morning^ 

We thank thee that we have laid us down g^ 
have had where to lay our head //, and have not 
been wandering in deserts and mountains, in 
dens and caves of the earth i; and that we have 
slept, and have not been full of tossings to and 
fro till the dawning of the day ; that wearisome 
nights are not appointed to us, and we are not 
saying at our lying down. When shall we arise, 
and the night be gone? But our bed comforts 
us, and our couch eases our complaints k. Thou 
givest us sleep, as thou givest it to thy beloved /. 

z Job xxxviii. 12, 13, 14. a Psalm Ixxiv. 16. b Luke i. 

77, 78. c Mai. iv. 2. d Prov. iv. 1 8. e Lara, iii, 22, 23. 

J Psalm XXX. 5.— g iii. 5. h Matt. viii. 20. i Heb, xi. 38. 

itJob vii. 3, 4, 1 3. / Pialm cxxvii. 2. • ] 



l66 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 



And that having laid us down and slept, we have 
waked again ; thou hast lightened our eyes, so 
that we have not slept the sleep of death m. 

Thou hast preserved us from the pestilence 
that walketh in darkness w, and from the malice 
of the rulers of the darkness of this world o, the 
roaring lion that goes about seeking to devour/?; 
He that keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor 
sleeps, has kept us, and so we have been safe q. 

But we cannot say with thy servant David, 
that when we awake we are still with thee r, or 
that our eyes have prevented the night watches, 
that we might meditate on thy wordj; but vain 
thoughts still lodge within us s. O pardon our 
sins, and cause us to hear thy loving-kindness 
this morning, for in thee do we trust. Cause us 
to know the way wherein we should walk, for we 
lift up our souls unto thee. Teach us to do thy 
will, for thou art our God. Thy Spirit is good, 
lead us into the way and land of uprightness /. 

And now let the Lord preserve and keep us 
from all evil this day : yea, let the Lord preserve 
our souls. Lord, preserve our going out and com- 
ing in w. Give thine angels charge concerning 
us, to bear us up in their hands, and keep us in 
all our ways v. And give us grace to do the 
work of the day in its day, as the duty of the 
day requires w, 

m Psalm xiii. 3. — n xci. 6. o Eph. vi. 12. pi Pet. v. 8, 
y Psalm cxxJ.l. — r cxxxix. 18.—-; cxix. 148. s Jer. iv. 14. 
/ Psalm cxliii. 8, 10. — u cxxi. 7, 8. — v xci. 1 1, 12. xu Ezra 
iii. 4. 



CHAP. VI. 



i 



FOR PRAYER. I67 

Occasional Addresses. 

2. In our evening 'prayers. 

Thou, O God, makest the outgoings of the 
evening, as well as the morning, to rejoice x ; for 
thereby thou callest us from our work and our 
labour^, and biddest us rest awhile z. And now 
let our souls return to thee, and repose in thee 
as our rest, because thou hast dealt bountifully 
with us a: so shall our sleep be sweet to us h. ^ 

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us witK 
his benefits c, who hath this day preserved our 
going out and coming in d ; and now we have 
received from thee our daily bread, we pray, Fa* 
ther, forgive us our trespasses e. ..i.i> • ii»^ 

And we will lay us down and sleep ; for thou. 
Lord, makest us to dwell in safety^ Make a 
hedge of protection (we pray thee) about us, and 
about our house, and about all that we have round 
about g. Let the angels of God encamp round 
about us, to deliver us h; that we may lie down, 
and none may make us afraid L 

Into thy hands we commit our spirit k; that 
in slumberings upon our bed, our ears may be 
opened and instruction sealed /; and let the Lord 
give us counsel, and let our reins instruct us in 
the night season m : Visit us in the night, and 
try us w, and enable us to commune with our own 
hearts upon our beds o, 

X Psalm lxv.8.— y civ. 23. z Markvi. 31. a Psalm 
cxvi. 7. b Jar. xxxi, 26. c Psalm Ixviii. 19. — c^cxxi. 8. 
e Matt. vi. 11, 12. /Psalm iv. 8. g Job i. 10. h Psalm 
xxxiv. 7« i Job xi. 19. k Psalm xxxi. 5. / Job xxziii. 
15, 16. m Psalm xvi. 7. — n xvii. 3. — iv. 4. 



168 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

Give US to remember thee upon our bed; and 
to meditate upon thee in the night-watches p^ 
with the saints that are joyful in glory, and that 
sing aloud upon their beds q, 

S, In craving a blessing before meat. 

Thou, O Lord, givestfood to all flesh, for thy 
mercy endures for ever r. The eyes of all things 
wait on theej ; but especially thou givest meat to 
them that fear thee, being ever mindful of thy 
covenant s. 

Thou art our life, and the length of our days ^, 
the God that hath fed us all our life long unto 
this day u: Thou givest us all things richly to 
enjoy, though we serve thee but poorly v. Thou 
hast not only given us every green herb, and 
the fruit of the trees to be to us for meat ty, but 
every moving thing that liveth, even as the green 
herb x. 

And blessed be God, that now under the gos- 
pel we are taught to call nothing common or un- 
clean ^, and that it is not that which goes into 
the man that defiles the man z, but that every 
creature of God is good, and nothing to be re- 
fused; for God hath created it to be received 
with thanksgiving, of them which believe and 
know the truth a. 

We acknowledge we are not worthy of the 
least crumb that falls from the table of thy 
providence h. Thou mightest justly take away 

p Psalm Ixiii. 6. — q cxlix. 5. — r cxxxvi. ^5,-^j cxiv. 15. 
—.5 cxi. 5. t D€ut. XXX. 20. u Gen. xlviii. 15. v I Tim. 
vi. 17. to Gen. i. 29. — x ix. .3. y Acts x. 15. z MaU. xv. 
U. a 1 Tiro. iv. 3, 4. ^ Matt. xv. 27. 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 1^9 

Occasional Addresses. 

from us the stay of bread and tlie stay of water c; 
and make us to eat our bread by weight, and to 
drink our water by measure and with astonish- 
ment d; because when we have been fed to the 
full, we have forgotten God our Maker e. But 
let our sins be pardoned, we pray thee, that our 
table may not become a snare before us, nor that 
be made a trap which should have been for our 
welfare/. 

We know that every thing is sanctified by the 
word of God and prayer g; and that man lives 
not by bread alone, but by every word that pro- 
ceedeth out of the mouth of God h; and there- 
fore, according to our Master's example, we look 
up to heaven, and pray for a blessing upon our 
food /, abundantly bless our provision k. 

Lord, grant that we may not feed ourselves 
without fear /, that we may not make a god of 
our belly w, that our hearts may never be over- 
charged with surfeiting or drunkenness n; but 
that whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we 
do, we may do all to the glory of God o. 

4. In returning thanks after our meat. 

Now we have eaten and are full, we bless thee 
for the good land thou hast given us p. Thou 
preparest a table for us in the presence of our 
enemies, thou anointest our head, and "our cup 
runs over q, ..... 

c I«a. iii. 1. d Ezek. iv. 16. e Deut. xxxii. 15. y Psalm 
Ixix. 22. g 1 Tim. iv. 5. h Matt. iv. 4-. — i xiv. 19. k Psalm 
cxxxii. 15. /Judel2. w Phil. iii. 19. n Luke xxi. 34f. 
o 1 Cor. X. 31. J) Deut.viii. 10. q P^aim xxiii. 5. 

6 w - 



170 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

Thou, Lord, art the portion of our inheritance 
and of our cup ; thou maintainest our lot, so that 
we have reason to say. The lines are fallen to us 
in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heri- 
tage r. 

Especially we bless thee for the bread of life 
which came down from heaven, which was given 
for the life of the world : Lord, evermore give 
us that bread j and wisdom to labour less for the 
meat which perisheth, and more for that which 
endures to everlasting life j. 

The Lord give food to the hungry, and send 
portions to them for whom nothing is prepared s. 

Let us be of those blessed ones that shall eat 
bread in the kingdom of God /, that shall eat of 
the hidden manna u. 

5, When we are going a journey. 

Lord, keep us in the way that we should go f , 
and let no evil thing befall us w : Let us have a 
prosperous journey by the will of God a^, and 
with thy favour let us be compassed, wherever we 
go, as with a shield i/. 

Let us walk in our way safely z, and let not 
our foot stumble or dash against a stone a. 

Direct our way in every thing b, and enable us 
to order all our affairs with discretion c, and the 
Lord send us good speed, and show kindness to 
us d, 

r Psalm xvi. 5p5. ^* John vi.27, 33, S4. ; Psalm cxivi. 
7. t Luke xiv. 15. u Rev. ii. 17. v Gen. xxviii. 20. 

ty Psalm xci. 10. x Rom. i. 10. j/ Psalm v. 12. z Pror. 
xxii. 5. a Psalm xci. 12. b 1 Thess.iii. 11. c Psalm cxii. 
5. d Gen.xxiv. 12. 



CHAP. Vr. FOR PRAYER. 171 

Occasional Addresses. 

And the Lord watch between us when we are 
absent the one from the other e. 

6. When we return from a journey. ^ 
Blessed be the Lord God of Abraham, who hath * 

not left us destitute of his mercy and his truthy. 

All our bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto 
thee g, for thou keepest all our bones h. 

It is God that girdeth us with strength, and 
maketh our way perfect i. 

7. In the evening before the Lord's day. 
Now give us to remember that to-morrow is 

the Sabbath of the Lord k, and that it is a high 
day /, holy to the Lord and honourable »i, and 
give us grace to sanctify ourselves, that to-mor- 
row the Lord may do wonders among us 72; and 
to mind the work of our preparation now the 
Sabbath draws on 0. nr ,t. 3/;r;il'jf; r r'.u 

When thou sawest every thing that thou hadst 
made in six days, behold all was very good /?/ but 
in many things we have all offended q. O that, 
by repentance and faith in Christ's blood, we may 
wash not only our feet, but also our hands and 
our head, and our heart r, and so may compass 
thine altar, O Lord J. 

Now give us to rest from all our own works s, 
and to leave all our worldly cares at the bottom 
of the hill, while we go up to the mount to wor- 
ship God, and return again to them /. 

e Gen. xxxi. 49.— ;/xxiv. 27. g Psalm xxxv. 10. — 

h xxxiv. 20 —f xviii. 32. k Exod. xvi. 23. / John xix. 31. 
m Isa. Iviii. 13. n Josh. iii. 5. Luke xxiii. 54. p Gen. 
i. 31. q James iii. 2. r John xiii. 9. j Psalm xxvi.6. 
• Heb< iv. 10. t Gen. xxii. 5. 



172 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 



«%%^«^V^'« 



8. On the morning of the Lord's day. 

We bless thee, Lord, who hath showed us light, 
and that the light we see is the Lord's u; that we 
see one more of the days of the Son of man Vy a 
day to be spent in thy courts, which is better 
than a thousand elsewhere w» 

We thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, that the things which were hid from the 
wise and prudent are revealed unto us babes; even 
so, Father, because it seemed good in thine eyes; 
that our eyes see, and our ears hear, that which 
many prophets and kings desired to see, desired 
to hear, and did not a:; that light and immortality 
are brought to light by the gospel i/. 

And now, O that we may be in the Spirit on 
the Lord's day z / That we may call the Sab- 
bath a delight a, and may honour the Son of man, 
who is Lord also of the Sabbath-day Z>, not doing 
our own ways, or finding our own pleasure, or 
speaking our own words. 

9. At the entrance upon the public worship on 
the Lord's dai/, hy the masters of the assemblies. 

Thou, O God, art greatly to be feared in the 
assembly of the saints, and to be had in rever- 
ence of all them that are about thee c. O give 
us grace to worship thee with reverence and god- 
ly fear, because thou our God art a consuming 
fire d, \ xfl5jit 

This is that which thou hast said, that thou 

u Psalm cxviii. 27. v Luke xv\i. 22. to Psalm Ixxxiv. 
10. X Luke X. 21, 24?. y 2 Tim. i. 10. z Rev. i. 10. 

a Isa. Iviii. 13. b Mark ii. 28. c Pialm ixxxix.'?. d Heb. 
xii. 28, 2a 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 173 

Occasional Addresses. 

wilt be sanctified in them which come nigh unto 
thee; and before all the people thou wilt be glo- 
rified e. Thou art the Lord that sanctifieth xx^f; 
sanctify us by thy truth ^, that we may sanctify 
thee in our hearts, and make thee our fear and 
our dread lu 

We come together to give glory to the great 
Jehovah, who in six days made heaven and earth, 
the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the 
seventh day, and therefore blessed the Sabbath- 
day and hallowed it i. And our help stands in the 
name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth k, 

O let us be new creatures /, thy workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus unto good works m. And 
let that God, who on the first day of the world 
commanded the light to shine out of darkness, 
on this first day of the week shine in our hearts, 
to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory 
of God in the face of Jesus Christ n. 

We come together to give glory to the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and to sanctify this Sabbath to his 
honour, who was the stone that the builders re- 
fused, but is now become the head-stone of the 
corner. This is the Lord's doing, it is marvel- 
lous in our eyes: This is the day which the Lord 
has made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it o. He 
is the first and the last, Who was dead and is alive j3. 

O that we may this day experience the power 

e Lev. X. 3. yEzek. xx. 2. g John xvii. 17. // Isa. 
yiii. 13. i Exod. xx. 11. k Psalna cxxiv. 8. / 2 Cor. v. 
J7. m Eph. ii. 10. « 2 Cor. iv» 6. o Psalm cxviii. 22, 23, 
24. p Rev. ii. 8. 



IJif ,4 METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 



of Christ's resurrection, and may be planted to- 
gether in the likeness of it q, that as Christ was 
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Fa- 
ther, so we also may walk in newness of life r, 
and may sit with him in heavenly places J; and 
by seeking the things that are above, may make 
it appear that we are risen with him s. . 

We come together to give glory to the blessed 
Spirit of grace, and to celebrate the memorial of 
the giving of that promise of the Father /, in 
whom the apostles received power on the first 
Iday of the week, as on that day Christ arose u. 
^ O that we may this day be filled with the Holy 
Ghost, and that the fruit of the Spirit in us may 
l^e in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth v. 
v We come together to testify our communion 
with the universal church, that though we are 
many, yet we are one; that we worship one and 
the same God, the Father, of whom are all things, 
and we in him, in the name of one Lord Jesus 
Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him w^ 
under the conduct of the same Spirit, one and 
the self-same Spirit, who divideth to every man 
severally as he will ^, walking by the same rule^, 
looking for the same blessed hope, and the glo- 
rious appearing of the great God our Saviour z. 

10. In our preparation for the Lord's supper. 

Now we are invited to come and eat of Wis- 



q Phil. iii. 10. r Rom. vi. 4-, 5. j Eph. ii. 6. * Col. iii. 
1. * Acts 1.4,8. — M ii. 1. uEph. V.8, 18. to 1 Cor.x. 
;i7,— viii.6. j; 1 Cor. xii. n. ^Gal.vi. 16. a Tit. ii. 13. 



\ 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 175 

Occasional A.ddresses. 

dom's bread, and drink of the wine that she has 
mingled a, give us to hunger and thirst after right- 
eousness b: And being called to the marriage-sup- 
per of the Lamb c, give us the weddinggarment d. 

Awake, O north wind, and come thou south, 
and blow upon our garden, that the spices there- 
of may flow forth ; and then let our beloved come 
into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits e. 

Draw us, and we will run after thee; bring us 
into thy chambers, that there we may be glad 
and rejoice in thee, and may remember thy love 
more than wine. And when the King sits at his 
table, let our spikenard send forth a smell there- 
of/ 

And the good Lord pardon every one tliat pre- 
pareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his 
fathers, though he be not cleansed according 
to the purification of the sanctuary : Hear our 
prayers, and heal the people g, 

11. /w the celebrating of the Lord^s supper. i 

O let this cup of blessing which we bless, be 
the communion of the blood of Christ h; let this 
bread which we break, be the communion of the 
body of Christ, and enable us herein to show the 
Lord's death till he come i. 

Now let us be joined to the Lord in an ever- 
lasting covenant h; so joined to the Lord, as to 
become one spirit with him /. Now let us be 
made partakers of Christ, by holding fast the 

a Prov. ix. 5. b Matt. v. 6. c Rev. xix. 9. d Matt. xxii. 
11. e Cant. iv. 16. /2 Kings i. 4, 16. g 2 Chron. xxx. 
18,19. /ilCor.x. 16 — f xi. 26. /t Jer. 1. 5. /ICor.vi. 17. 



176 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the 
end m. 

Let Christ's flesh be meat indeed to us, and 
his blood drink indeed; and give us so by faith 
to eat his flesh, and drink his blood, that he may 
dwell in us, and we in him, and we may live by 
him n. 

Let the cross of Christ,- which is to the Jews 
a stumblingblock, and to the Greeks foolishness, 
be to us the wisdom of God, and the power of 
God 0. 

Ji Seal to us the remission of sins j?, the gift of 
the Holy Ghost, and the promise of eternal life q, 
and enable us to take this cup of salvation, and 
to call on the name of the Lord r. 

12. After the celebrating of the Lord's supper. 

And now. Lord, give us to hold fast that which 
we have received, that no man take our crown j\ 
And keep it always in the imaginations of the 
thoughts of our hearts, and prepare our hearts 
unto thee s. 

Give us grace, as we have received Christ Jesus 
the Lord, so to walk in him /, that our conversa- 
tion may be in every thing asbecomeshis gospel u, 

O that we may now bear about with us con- 
tinually the dying of the Lord Jesus v, so as that 
the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our 
mortal body, that to us to live may be Christ w, 

m Heb. iii. 14. n John vi. 55^ 56y 57. o 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. 
p Acts ii. 38. q 1 John ii. 25. r Psalm cxvi. 13. j Rev. iii. 
Jl. 5 1 Chron.xxix. 18. / Col. ii. 6. m Phil. i. 27. 

V 2Cor. iv. 10. vo Phil. i. 21. 






CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 177 

Occasional Addresses. 

Thy vows are upon us, O God x: O that we 
may be daily performing our vows^. w 

13.* Upon occasion of the baptism of a child, .7 

To thee, O God, whose all our souls are, the 
souls of the parents, and the souls of the chil- 
dren z, we present this child a living sacrifice, 
which we desire may be holy and acceptable a, 
and that it may be given up, and dedicated to the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost b. 

It is conceived in sin, but there is a fountain 
opened c. O wash the soul of this child in that 
fountain d, now it is by thy appointment washed 
with pure water e. 

It is one of the children of the covenant^ one 
of the children that is born unto thee, it is thy 
servant born in thy house g. O make good thy 
ancient covenant h, that thou wilt be a God to 
believers and to their seed i; for this blessing of 
Abraham comes upon the Gentiles k, and the 
promise is still to us and to our children /. 

Thou hast encouraged us to bring little chil- 
dren unto thee; for thou hast said, that of such 
is the kingdom of God. Blessed Jesus, take up 
this child in the arms of thy power and grace, 
put thy hands upon it, and bless it m; let it be 
a vessel of honour, sanctified and meet for the 
master's use w, and owned as one of thine in that 
day when thou makest up thy jewels 0. 

X Psalm Ivi. 12.— y Ixi. S. z Ezek. xviii. 4. a Rom. xii. 
1. b Matt.xxviii. 19v c Psalm li. 5. d Zech. xiii. I. 
e Heb. x. 22. /Acts iii. 25. g Ezek. xvi. 20. h Psalm 
cxvi, 16. i Gen. xvii. 7. k Gal. iii. 14. / Acts ii. 39. 
m Mark x. 14, 16. n 2 Tim.ii. 2. Mai. iii. 17. 

6 X 



178 A METHOD CHAP. VI, 

Occasional Addresses. 

O pour thy Spirit upon our seed, thy blessing 
upon our offspring, that they may spring up as 
willows by the water courses, and may come to 
subscribe with their own hands unto the Lord, 
and to surname themselvesby the naipae of Israel p. 

14. Upon occasion of a funeral. ''^'^^ V- 

Lord, give us to find it good for us to go to 
the house of mourning ^, that we may be mind- 
ed thereby of the end of all men, and may lay it 
to our heart, and may be so wise as to consider 
our latter end r ; for we must also be gathered to 
our people, as our neighbours and brethren are 
gathered J ; and though, whither those that are 
dead in Christ are gone, we cannot follow them 
now 5, yet grant that we may follow them after- 
wards, every one in his own order /. 

We know that thou wilt bring us to death, and 
to the house appointed for all living u; but let us 
not see death, till by faith we have seen the Lord's 
Christ, and then let us depart in peace, according 
to thy word v. And when the earthly house of 
this tabernacle shall be dissolved, let us have a 
building of God, an house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens w. 

And give us to know that our Redeemer liveth; 
and that though after our skin worms destroy 
these bodies, yet in our flesh we shall see God, 
whom we shall see for ourselves, and our eyes 
shall behold, and not another jc. 

p Isa. iv. 3. xliv. 5. q Eccl. vii. 2. r Deut. xxxii. 29. 
j Numb, xxvii. 13. s John xiii. 36. i 1 Cor. xv. 23. 

u Job XXX. 23. V Luke ii. 26, 29. to 2 Cor. v. 1. x Job 
xix. 25, 26. 



,€HAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 179 

Occasional Addresses. 



i5, Upo7i occasion of marriage. 
Give to those that marry, to marry in the 
Lord^; and let the Lord Jesus by his grace come 
to the marriage, and turn the water into wine z. 
Make them helps meet for each other, and in- 
strumental to promote one another's salvation a; 
and give them to live in holy love ^, that they 
may dwell in God, and God in them c. 'iai:/;c> 

Let the wife be as a fruitful vine by the side 
of the house c/, and the husband dwell with the 
wife as a man of knowledge ^, and let them dwell 
together as joint heirs of the grace of life, that 
their prayers be not hindered; and make us all 
meet for that world, where they neither marry 
nor are given in marriage/. 
;. IQ. Upon the occasion of the ordaining of minis- 
^^^s. jjgr»j (f3H;i oil siij Vj c".!..'.".?// fjLj ;<> 

Let the things of God be committed to faith- 
ful men, who may be able also to teach others g ; 
and make them such burning and shining lights //, 
as that it may appear it was Christ Jesus who put 
them into the jninistry i; and let not hands be 
suddenly laid on any k. 

Give to those who are ordained, to take heed 
to the ministry which they have received of the 
Lord, that they fulfil it /, and to make full proof 
of it, by watching in all things m. 

Let those, who in Christ's name are to preach 

y 1 Cor.vii. 39. «Johnii. 1. flGen. ii. 18. i 1 Cor. 
vii. 16. c 1 John iv. 16. d Psalm cxxviii. 3. e \ Pet. iii. 
7. /Luke XX. 35. g 2 Tim. ii. 2. h John v. 35. i 1 
Tim. i. 12. kl Tim. v. 22. / Col. iv. 17. m'Z Tim. iv. 5. 



180 A METHOD CHAP.VU 

Occasional Addresses. 

repentance and remission of sins, be endued with 
power from on high n; give them another spirit, 
and make them good ministers of Jesus Christ o, 
nourished up in the works of faith and good doc- 
trine p. 

17. Upon the occasion of the want of rain. 
Thou hast withholden the rain from us, and 

caused it to rain upon one city, and not upon an- 
other, yet have we not returned unto thee q. 

But thou hast said, when heaven is shut up 
that there is no rain, because we have sinned 
against thee, if we confess thy name, and turn 
from our sins, thou wilt hear from heaven, and 
forgive our sin, and give rain upon our land r. 

We ask of thee the former and latter rain, and 
depend upon thee for it j; for there are not any 
of the vanities of the Heathen that can give rain, 
nor can the heavens give showers, but we wait 
on thee, for thou hast made all these things s, 

18. Upon occasion of excessive rain. 

Let the rain thou sendest be in mercy to our 
land, and not for correction /, not a sweeping 
rain which leaveth no food u.^ no j 

Thou hast sworn that the waters of Noah shall 
no more return to cover the earth v; let fair wea- 
ther therefore come out of the north, for with 
thee is terrible Majesty *w. v// vd 

19. Upon occasion of infectious diseases. 

n Luke xxiv. 47. 49. 1 Sam. x. 9. pi Tim. iv. 6. 

q Amos iv. 7. r 1 Kings viii. 35, 36. j Zech. x. I. s Jer. 
xiv. 22. t Job xxxvii. 13, u Prov. xxviii. 3. v Isa. liv. 
9. tv Job xxxvii. 2% 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 181 

Occasional Addresses. 

Take sickness from the midst of us .r, and de- 
liver us from the noisome pestilence y. 

Appoint the destroying angel to put his sword 
into his sheath, and to stay his hand js:. -: 

20. U'pon occasion of fire. 

Thou callest to contend by fire a, we bewail 
the burning which the Lord hath kindled ^ / O 
Lord God cease, we beseech thee, and let the 
fire be quenched c, as that kindled in Israel was 
at the prayer of Moses d, 

21. Upon occasion of great storms, ;s 
Lord, thou hast the winds in thy hands e, and 

bringest them out of thy treasures^J even stormy 
winds fulfil thy word^. O preserve us and our 
habitations, that we be not buried in the ruins 
of them, as Job's children were h, u'l ' . v 

22. Upon occasion of the cares, and burdens^ and 
afflictions of particular persons : As, 

1. When we pray with, or for those that are 
troubled in mind, and melancholy, and under 
doubts and fears about their spiritual state. 

Lord, enable those that fear thee, and obey the 
voice of thy servant, but walk in darkness, and 
have no light, to trust in the name of the Lord, 
and to stay themselves upon their Godi: And 
at evening-time let it be light k. ■ir\A\(',. j jit vi j 

O strengthen the weak hands, confirm the fee- 
ble knees, say to them that are of a fearful heart, 
be strong, fear not /. Answer them with good 

X Exod. xxiii. 25. y Psalm xci. S. z2 Sam. xxiv. 16. 
a Amos vii. 4. b Lev. x. 6. c Amos vii. 6. d Numb. xi. 
2. e Prov. XXX. 4. /Psalm cxxxv. 7. — g cxlviii. 8. h Job 
i. 19. i Isa. 1. 10. k Zech. xiy. 7. / Isa. xxxv. S, 4. 



182 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 



«%«^«<»« 



and comfortable words w, saying unto them, 
Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you n; 
Be of good cheer, it is I: Be not afraid, I am your 
salvation o; and make them to hear the voice of 
joy and gladness^, that the bones wjbich thou 
hast broken may rejoice q.--:. - ! * : > 
' Let those who now remember God, and are 
troubled, whose spirits are overwhelmed, and 
whose souls refuse to be comforted r, be enabled 
to trust in thy mercy 7, so that at length they 
may rejoice in thy salvation; though thou slay 
them, yet to trust in thee s. 

Though deep calls unto deep, and all thy waves 
and thy billows go over them, yet do thou com- 
mand thy loving kindness for them in the day- 
time, and in the night let thy song be with them, 
and their prayer to the God of their life; though 
their souls are cast down and disquieted within 
them, give them to hope in God, that they shall 
yet praise him, and let them find him the health 
of their countenance, and their God t. 

O renew a right spirit within them ; cast them 
not away from thy presence, and take not thy 
Holy Spirit from them, but restore unto them 
the joy of thy salvation, and uphold them with 
thy free Spirit u^ that their tongues may sing 
aloud of thy righteousness, and show forth thy 
salvation t'.l ij K><nfl j 
i O bring them up out of this horrible pit and 

m Zech.i. 13. n Matt.ix. 2. Mark ?i. 50. p Psalm 
XXV. 3. — q li. 8. — r Ixxvii. 2, 3.—^' xiii. 5. — s Job xiii. 15 
t Psalm xiii. 7,8,11 — m li. 10,11,12, 14 vixxi. 15. 



CHAP. Vr. FOR PRAYER. 18^ 

Occasional Addresses. 



this miry clay, and set their feet upon a rock, 
establishing their goings, and put a new song in 
their mouth, even praises to our God w, O com- 
fort them again now after the time that thou hast 
afflicted them :v. 

Though for a small moment thou hast forsaken 
them, and hid thy face from them ; yet gather 
them, and have mercy on them with everlasting 
kindness^. -^'^ kj4 haH »Ijui>- 

O let thy Spirit witness with their spirits that 
they are the children of God ^r; and by the blood 
of Christ let them be purged from an evil con- 
science a. ^> 

Lord, rebuke the tempter, even the accuser of 
the brethren, the Lord that hath chosen Jerusa- 
lem rebuke him, and let poor, tempted, troubled 
souls be as brands plucked out of the burning b, 

^. Those that are under convictions of sin, and 
begin to be concerned about their souls and their 
salvation, and to inquire after Christ, 

Those that are asking the way to Zion, with 
their faces thitherward c, that are lamenting after 
the Lord </, and are pricked to the heart for sin e, 
O show them the good and the right way, and 
lead them in it/. 

To those that are asking what they shall do to 
inherit eternal life g, discover Christ as the way, 
the truth, and the life, the only true and living 
way h, 

to Psalm xl. 2, 3. — x xc. 15. y Isa. liv. 7, 8. z Rom. 
viii. 16. a Heb. x. 22. b Zech. iii. 2. c Jer. I. 5. 

d I Sam. vii. 2. e Acts ii. 37. fi Sara. xii. 23. g Matt. 
xix. 16. h John xiv. 6. 



184« A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

O do not quench the smoking flax, nor break 
the bruised reed; but bring forth judgment unto 
victory i. Let the great Shepherd of the sheep 
gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in 
his bosom, and gently lead them k, and help them 
against their unbelief /. 

Let not the red dragon devour the man-child 
as soon as it is born, but let it be caught up to 
God, and to his throne m, 

3, When xve 'pray with, or for those that are sick 
and weak, and distempered in body, that those who 
are sick and in sin may be convinced^ those who are 
sick and in Christy comforted. 

Lord, thou hast appointed those that are sick 
to be prayed for, and prayed with, and hast pro- 
mised that the prayer of faith shall save the sick : 
Lord, help us to pray in faith for the sick, and 
as being ourselves in the body n. vjjo'aT .v 

When our Lord Jesus was here upon earth, we 
find that they brought to him all sick people 
that were taken with divers diseases and torments, 
and he healed all manner of sickness, and all 
manner of diseases among the people : And he 
hath still the same power over bodily diseases 
that ever he had o ; he saith to them, Go, and they 
go; come, and they come; Do this, and they do 
it ; and can speak the word, and they shall be 
healed p. And he is still touched with the feel- 
ing of our infirmities q ; in the belief of this, we 

i Matt. xii. 20. h Isa. xl. 1 1. I Mark ix. 24. m Rev. xii. 
4, 5. n James v. 14, 15. o Matt. iv. 23, 24.—./? viii. 8, 9. 
q Heb. iv. 15. 



fiA \l\^UK^ l^ 



CHAi». Vr. FOR PRATER. 185 

Occasional Addresses. 

do by prayer bring our friends that are sick, and 
lay them before him r. 

Lord, grant that those who are sick, may nei- 
ther despise the chastening cff the Lord, nor faint 
when they are rebuked of himj; but that they 
may both hear the rod, and him that hath ap- 
pointed it, and may kiss the rod 5, and accept of 
the punishment of their iniquity /. ;u}tn s: 

Give them to see that affliction cometh not 
forth out of the dust, nor springs out of the 
ground u; that they may therefore seek unto 
God, to the Lord more than to the physicians v^ 
because unto God the Lord belong the issues of 
life and death w* 

Lord, show them wherefore thou contendest 
with them x; and give them, in their affliction, to 
humble themselves greatly before the God of 
their fathers z/, and to repent and turn from every 
evil way, and make their ways and their doings 
good z; and being judged and chastened of the 
Lord, they may not be condemned with the 
world a. By the sickness of the body, and the 
sadness of the countenance, let the heart be made 
better b» 

O Lord, rebuke them not in thine anger, nei- 
ther chasten them in thy hot displeasure: Have 
mercy upon them, O Lord, for they are weak : 
Lord, heal them, for their bones are vexed, their 

r Luke v. 18. j Heb. xii. 5. s Micah vi. 9* / Lev. xxvi.-! ; 
41. u Job V. 6, 8. V 2 Chron. xvi. 12. to Psalm lxviri.,2a^- 
xjobx. 2. 7/ 2 Chron. xxxiii. 12. x Jer. xviii. 1 1.«-- 

a 1 Cor. xi. 32. ' b Eccl. vii. 3. 

6 y ' 






186 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

souls also are sore vexed : Return, O Lord, and 
deliver their souls, save them for thy mercy's 
sake c, and lay no more upon them than thou 
wilt enable them to bear; and enable them to 
bear what thou dost lay upon them d. 

When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for 
sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away like 
a moth ; surely every man is vanity. But remove 
thy stroke, we pray thee, from those that are 
even consumed by the blow of thine hand : O 
spare a little, that they may recover strength be- 
fore they go hence, and be no more e. 

Those that are chastened with pain upon their 
bed, and the multitude of their bones with strong 
pain, so that their life abhorreth bread, and their 
soul dainty meat, show them thine uprightness, 
be gracious to them. Deliver them from going 
down to the pit, for thou hast found a ransom^ 
Let the eternal God be their refuge, and under- 
neath them be the everlasting arms^; consider 
their frame, remember that they are but dust h. 
O deliver those that are thine in the time of 
trouble, preserve them, and keep them alive : O 
strengthen them upon their bed of languishing, 
and make their bed in their sickness; be merci- 
ful to them, and heal their souls, for they have 
sinned u 

O turn to them, and have mercy upon them, 
bring them out of their distresses, look upon 

c Psalm vi. 1.4. d \ Cor. x. 13. e Psalm xxxix. 10. 
11. 13. /Jobxxxiii. 19,20,23,24. ^ Deut. xxxiii. 27. 
k Psalm ciii. 14 — i xli, 1, 2, 3, 4. 



V 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 18? 

Occasional Addresses. 

their affliction and their pain, but especially for- 
give all their sins Jc, 

Make thy face to shine upon them, save them 
for thy mercy's sake /. The God, that comfort- 
eth them that are cast down, comfort them m ; 
and let the soul dwell at ease in thee, when the 
body lies in pain n, 

(If it be the beginning of a distemper.) Lord, 
set bounds to this sickness, and say. Hitherto 
shall it come, and no farther o; let it not pre- 
vail to extremity, but in measure; when it shoot- 
eth forth, do thou debate with it; and stay thy 
rough wind in the day of thine east wind, and by 
this let iniquity be purged, and let this be all the 
fruit, even the taking away of sin p. 

(If it have continued long.) Lord, let patience 
have her perfect work, even unto long-suffering, 
that those who have been long in the furnace q, 
may continue hoping, and quietly waiting for 
the salvation of the Lord r. Let tribulation work 
patience, and patience experience, and expe- 
rience a hope t^hat maketh not ashamed j; and 
enable them to^ call even this affliction light, 
seeing it worketh for them a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory s, 

(If there be hopes of recovery,) Lord, when 
thou hast tried, let them come forth like gold t ; 
let their souls live, and they shall praise thee, 
let thy judgments help them ; O deal bountifully 

h Pialm xxv. 16, 17» 18.—/ xxxi. 16. m2 Cor. vil. 6. 

n Psalm xxv. 13. o Job xxxviii. 11. p ha. xxvii. 8, 9. 
^ James i. 4-. r Latr. iii. 26. j Rora. v. 3, 4-. i 2 Cor. i?. 
17. i Job xxiii. 10. 



1 



188 A METHOD CHAP. VI, 

Occasional Addresses. 

with them, that they may live and keep thy 
word u. In love to their souls deliver them from 
the pit of corruption, and cast all their sins be- 
hind thy back. Recover them, and make them 
to live V. Speak the word, and they shall be 
healed w. Say unto them, Live; yea, say unto 
them. Live ; and the time shall be a time of 
love s:. Father, if it be possible, let the cup pass 
away ; however, not as we will, but as thou 
wilt^; The will of the Lord be done. Perfect 
that which concerns them z; thy mercy, O Lord, 
endures for ever, forsake not the work of thine 
own hands; but whether they live or die, let 
them be the Lord's a. 

If they he in appearance at the point of death. 

Now the flesh and the heart are failing, Lord, 
be thou the strength of the heart, and an ever., 
lasting portion b. In the valley of the shadow of 
death. Lord, be thou present as the good Shep- 
herd, with a guiding rod, and a supporting staff c. 
O do not fail them nor forsake them now d. Be 
a very present help e. Into thy hands we com- 
mit the departing spirit/, as into the hand of a 
faithful Creator, by the hands of him who has 
redeemed it g. Let it be carried by the angels 
into Abraham's bosom h. Let it be presented 
to thee, without spot or wrinkle, or any such 
thing i. Lord Jesus receive this precious soul A-, 

u Psalm cxix. 17. v Isa. xxxviii. 16, 17. to Mat. viii. 8. 
X Ezek. xvi. 6, 8. y Mat. xxvi. 39. z Psalm cxxxviii. 8. 
a Rom. xiv. 8. b Psalm Ixxiii. 26. — c xxiii. 4. d Heb. xiii. 5. 
e Psalm xlvi. l.-^xxxi. 5. g 1 Pet. iv. 19. h Luke xvi. 22. 
i Eph, V. 27t k Acts vii. 59* 



I 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 189 

Occasional Addresses. 

Jet it come to the spirits of just men made per- 
fect /; when it is absent from the body, let it be 
present with the Lord m. This day let it be 
with thee in paradise n. Now let it be for ever 
comforted o, and perfectly freed from sin p; and 
prepare us to draw after, as there are innumera- 
ble before q, that we may be together for ever 
with the Lord r, there, where there shall be no 
more death, and where all tears shall be wiped 
awayj. 

4. When we prat/ with or for those that are 
deprived oj the use 0/ their reason, 

O look with pity upon those that are put out 
of possession of their own souls s, whose judg- 
ment is taken away /, so that their soul chooseth 
strangling and death rather than life w. O re- 
store them to themselves and their right mind v. 
Deliver them from doing themselves any harm w. 
And whatever afflictions thou layest upon any 
of us in this world, preserve to us the use of our 
reason, and the peace of our consciences a;. 

5. When we pray with or for sick children. 
Lord, we see death reigning even over them 

that have not sinned after the similitude of A<- 
dam's transgression^: But Jesus Christ hath abo- 
lished death z, and admitted even little children 
into the kingdom of God a. O let sick children 
be pitied by thee, as they are by their earthly pa- 

/ Heb. xii. 23. m 2 Cor. v. 8. n Luke xxiii. 43 

o xvi. 25. p Rora. vi. 7. q Job xxl. 33. r 1 Thess. iv. 

17. j Rev. xxi. 4-. s Luke xxi. 19. t Job xxvii. 2 u vil. 

15. V Luke XV. 17. to Acts xvi. 28. x Mark v.' 15. 
^Rom.v. 14. «2Tim. i. 10. « Mat. xviii. 3. 



190 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresseg. 

rents b. They are come forth like flowers, O let 
them not be cut down again. Turn from them, 
that they may rest till they shall have accom- 
plished as an hireling their days c. Be gracious 
to us, and let the children live d. However, 
Father, thy will be done e. O let their spirits be 
saved in the day of the Lord Jesus /^ 

6. When we pray with or for families where 
death is, especially such as have lost their head. 

Visit the houses of mourning, as our Saviour 
did, and comfort them, by assuring them that 
Christ is the resurrection and the life; that their 
relations, which are removed from them g, are not 
dead but sleep h; and that they shall rise again, 
that they may not sorrow as those that have no 
hope i. And enable them to trust in the living 
God k, the Rock of ages, and enjoy the fountain 
of living waters /, when creatures prove broken 
reeds and broken cisterns m. 

Be a father to the fatherless, and a husband 
to the widow, O God, in thy holy habitation w. 
With thee let the fatherless find mercy o, keep 
them alive, and let the widows trust in thee, that 
they may be widows indeed, who being deso- 
late p, trust in God, and continue instant in 
prayer night and day q. And where father and 
mother have forsaken, let the Lord take up the 

b Psalm ciii. 13. c Job xiv. 2. d 2 Sam. xii. 22. 

e Acts XXI. 14. f 1 Cor. v. 5. g John xi. 23, 25. h Mat. 
ix. 24:. i 1 Thes, iv. 13. ^1 Tim. vi. 17. / Psalm cxlvi. 
4,5. m Jer. ii. 13. n Psalm Ixviii. 5. o Hosea xiv. 3. 
JO Jer. xlix. 11. q i Tim. v. 5] 



CHAP. VI. FOR PRAYER. 191 

Occasional Addresses. 

children r, and not leave them orphans, but come 
to them J. 

7. When we pray with or for those women who 
are near the time of travail, or in travail 

Lord, thou hast past this sentence upon the 
woman that was first in the transgression 5, that 
in sorrow she shall bring forth children t. But 
let this handmaid of thine be saved in child-bear- 
ing, and continue in faith, and charity, and holi- 
ness, with sobriety u. Enable her to cast her bur- 
den upon the Lord, and let the Lord sustain her v; 
and what time she is afraid, grant that she may 
trust in thee w, and may encourage herself in the 
Lord her God a:, O let not the root be dried up 
from beneath, nor let the branch be withered or 
cut off^, but let both live before thee. Be thou 
her strong habitation, her rock, and her fortress, 
give commandment to save her z. And when 
travail comes upon her, which she cannot escape, 
be pleased, O Lord, to deliver her a: O Lord, 
make haste to help her: Be thou thyself her help 
and deliverer; make no tarrying, O our God b: 
Let her be safely delivered, and remember the 
anguish no more, for joy that a child is born into 
the world, is born unto thee c. 

8. When we pray with or for those that are re- 
covered from sickness, or are delivered in child- 

r Psalm xxvii. 10. ; John xiv. 18. s\ Tim. ii. 14. 

<Gen. iii. 16. u 1 Tim. ii. 15» v Psalm Iv. 22.; — to Ivi. 3. 
X 1 Sam. XXX. 6. y Job xviii. 16. z Psaltn Ixxi. 3. 

a 1 Tiies. v. 3. b Psalm Ixx. 5. c John xvi. 21. 



19^ A METHOD CHAP. Vr. 

Occasional Addresses. 



bearing, and desire to return thanks unto God for 
his mercy. 

We will extol thee, O Lord, upon the account 
of those whom thou hast lifted up, whose souls 
thou hast brought up from the grave and kept 
them alive, that they should not go down to the 
pit d. Those that were brought low thou hast 
helped, hast delivered their souls from death, 
their eyes from tears, and their feet from falling. 
Now give them grace to walk before thee in the 
land of the living, to offer to thee the sacrifice of 
thanksgiving, to call upon thy name, and pay 
their vows unto the Lord e. 

The grave cannot thus praise thee, death can- 
not celebrate thee, they that go down to the 
pit cannot hope for thy truth; but the living, the 
living, they shall praise thee, as we do this day/. 
Lord, grant that those, who are delivered from 
death, may not be as the nine lepers, who did 
not return to give thanks g; or as Hezekiah, who 
rendered not again according to the benefit done 
unto him h : but that they may so offer praise, as 
to glorify thee; and so order their conversation, 
as to see the salvation of God ?. 

Those whom the Lord hath chastened sore, 
yet he has not delivered over unto death, O that 
they may therefore praise him who is become 
their salvation k. 

9. When we pray with or for those parents 

d Psalm XXX. i. 7— e cxvi. 6, 8, 9, 17, 18. ylsa. xxxvlii. 
18, 19. g Luke xvii. 18. h 2Chrori. xxxii. 25. i Psalm 
1.23 /fccxviii. 18,21. 



CHAP. Vr. FOR PRAYER. 193 

Occasional Addresses. 

"whose children are a grief to them, or such as they 
are in fear about. ""^^ 

Lord, give to parents the desire of their souls 
concerning their children, which is to see them 
walking in the truth /; form Christ in their souls m. 
O give them betimes to know the God of their 
fathers, and to serve him with a perfect heart 
and a willing mind n. Let children of the youth, 
that are as arrows in the hand, be directed aright, 
that those parents may have reason to think them- 
selves happy that have their quiver full of them, 
and they may never be arrows in their heart o. 

Let those foolish children, that are the grief 
of their father, and the heaviness of her that bare 
them, that mock at their parents, and despise to 
obey them, be brought to repentance; and let those 
that have been unprofitable p, now at length be 
made profitable q. O turn the hearts of the chil- 
dren to their fathers r, even the disobedient to 
the wisdom of the just, that they may be made 
a ready people prepared for the Lord s. O show 
them their work, and their transgressions, that 
they have exceeded, and open their ear to disci- 
pline t, 

10. When we pray with, or for those that are 
in prison* 

Those that sit in darkness, and in the shadow 
of death, being bound in affliction and iron, be- 

/ 2 John iv. m Gal. iv. 19. n 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. o Psal. 
cxxvii. 4, 5. p Prov. xvii. 25. — xxx. 17. q Phil«ra. 11. 

r Mai. iv. 6. s Luke i. 17. t Job xxxvi. 9, 10. 

7 z 



194 A METHOD CHAP, VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 



k *^%%»^^'%%%%^^%»^^^ 



cause they rebelled against the words of God, 
and contemned the counsel of the Most High, 
give them grace to cry unto thee in their troubles, 
and in a day of adversity to consider v. 

In their captivity, give them to bethink them- 
selves, to humble themselves, and pray and seek 
thy face; to repent, saying, We have sinned, and 
have done perversely; and so return to thee with 
all their heart, and with all their soul W; and bring 
their souls out of prison, that they may praise 
thy name a;. Bring them into the glorious liberty 
of the children of God out of the bondage of 
corruption i/. Let the Son make them free, and 
then they shall be free indeed z. 

Those that are wrongfully imprisoned, be thou 
with them, as thou wast with Joseph in the pri- 
son, and show them mercy a. Hear the poor, and 
despise not thy prisoners, but let their sorrowful 
sighing come before thee; and according to the 
greatness of thy power, preserve those that are 
unjustly appointed to die b, 

11. When we iway with or for condemned ma^ 
lefactors, that have but a little time to live. 

O look with pity upon those, the number of 
whose months is to be cutoff in the midst of their 
sin c: Ogive them repentance unto salvation, as 
thou didst to the thief upon the cross </, that they 
may own the justice of God in all that is brought 
upon them, that he has done right, but they have 

u Psalm evil. 10, 11, 13. v Eccl. vii. 14. to 1 Kings 
viii. 47,48. x Psalm cxlii. 7. y Rom. viii. 21. z John 
viii. 36. a Gen. xxxix. 21. b Psalm Ixix. 33. c Job xxi. 
21. rf 2 Cor. vii. 10. 



CttAP* Vr# FOR PRAYER. 195 

Occasion£iI Addresses. 

done wickedly e. O turn them, and they shall 
be turned, that being instructed, they may smite 
upon their thigh, and be ashamed, yea, even con- 
founded, because they do bear the reproach of 
their own iniquity/. O pluck them as brands 
out of the fire g\ Let them be delivered from the 
wrath to come k. ' ^ 

Enable them to give glory to God, by making 
confession i, that they may find mercy A:, and that 
others may hear and fear, and do no more pre- 
sumptuously /. 

Lord Jesus, remember them now thou art in 
thy kingdom m : O let them not be hurt of the 
second death n : Deliver them from going down 
to the pit ! Though the flesh be destroyed j», 
O let the spirit be saved in the day of the Lord 
Jesus. The God of infinite mercy be merciful to 
these sinners ^, these sinners against their own 
souls r. 

12. When we pray with, or for those that are at 
sea^ 

Let those that go down to the sea in shipsj 
that do business in great waters, observe the works 
of the Lord there^ and his wonders in the deepj : 
and acknowledge what a great God he is, whom 
the winds and the seas obey s; who hath placed 
the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpe- 
tual decree, that it cannot pass itj and though the 

e Neh.ix. 33. fjer. xxxi. 18, 19. g Jude 23. 

A 1 Thess. i. 10. f Josh. vii. 19. /t Prov. xviii. H. / Deut. 
xvii. 1 3. m Luke xxiii. 42. n Rev. ii. 1 1 . o Job xxxiii. 24. 
p 1 Cor. V. 5. q Luke xviii. IS. r Numb. xvi. 38. ; Pfealm 
cxvii.23,24. 5 Mat. viii. 27. 



196 A METHOD CHAP. VI. 

Occasional Addresses. 

waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not 
prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass 
over t. 

O preserve them through the paths of the seas w, 
and in perils by waters, and perils by robbers v. 
If the stormy wind be raised, which lifteth up 
the waves, so that they are at their wit's end, 
deliver them out of their distresses, make the 
storm a calm, and bring them to their desired 
haven. And O that those who are delivered may 
praise the Lord for his goodness, for his wonder- 
ful works to the children of men w. 



CHAP. VII. 

Of the Conclusion oj our Frayers, 

We are commanded to pray always, to pray 
without ceasing, to continue in prayer, because 
we must always have in us a disposition to the 
duty, must be constant to it, and never grow 
weary of it, or throw it up; and yet we cannot 
be always praying, we must come down from 
this mount; nor should we be too long, so as to 
make the duty a task or a toil to ourselves, or 
those that join with us. We have other work 
that calls for our attendance. Jacob wrestles with 
the angel; but he must go, for the day breaks: 

t Jer. V. 22. u Psalm viii. 8. v 2 Cor. xi. 26. vo Psalm 
c?ii.25,S0,Sl. 



GHAP. Vir. FOR PRAYER. 197 

The Conclusion of Prayer. 

We must therefore tliink of concluding. The 
prayers of David, the son of Jesse, must be ended. 
But how shall we conclude, so as to have the 
impressions of the duty kept always on the ima- 
gination of the thought of our hearts? 

1. We may then sum up our requests in some 
comprehensive petitions, as the conclusion of the 
whole matter. 

Now the God of peace, that brought again 
from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shep- 
herd of the sheep, through the blood of the ever- 
lasting covenant, make us perfect in every good 
work to do his will, working in us that which is 
well-pleasing in his sight, through Christ Jesus a:. 

Now the Lord direct our hearts into the love 
of God, and into a patient waiting for Christ ?/. 

And the God of all grace, who hath called us 
to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that 
we have suffered a while, make us perfect, esta- 
blish, strengthen, settle us z. 

And now. Lord, what wait we for a P Truly 
our hope is even in thee, and on thee do we de- 
pend to be to us a God all-sufficient b. 

Do for us exceeding abundantly above what 
we are able to ask or think, according to the 
power that worketh in us c: And supply all our 
needs according to thy riches in glory by Christ 
Jesus d. 

2. We may then beg for the audience and ac- 
ceptance of our poor weak prayers for Christ's sake, 

X Heb. xiii. 20, 21. y 2 Thess. iii. 5. z 1 Pet. v. 10. 

a Psalm xxxix. 7. b Gen. xvii. 1, c Eph. iii. 20. d Phil. 
iy.l9. 



198 A METHOD CHAP. VII. 

The Conclusion of Prayer. 



k^^» •«'V**%^ »«♦*%* %^**«^ ♦♦ 



Now the God of Israel grant us the things we 
have requested of him e. 

Let the words of our mouths, and the medita- 
tions of our hearts, be acceptable in thy sight, O 
Lord, our strength and our Redeemer^^ 

Let thine eyes be open unto the supplication 
of thy servants, and unto the supplication of thy 
people Israel, to hearken unto thee in all that 
they call unto thee for ; for they be thy people, 
and thine inheritance g. 

O our God, let thine ears be attentive unto the 
prayers that we have made. O turn not away 
the face of thine anointed; remember the mer- 
cies of David thy servant; even Jesus, who is at 
thy right hand making intercession for us h. 

Lord, thou hast assured us, that whatever we 
ask the Father in Christ's name, he will give it 
us i : We ask all these things in that name k, 
that powerful name, which is above every name // 
that precious name, which is as ointment poured 
forth m. O make thy face to shine upon us for 
the Lord's sake n, who is the Son of thy love, 
and whom thou hearest always o. Good Lord, 
give us to hear him, and be well pleased with us 
in him p. 

3, We may then beg for the forgiveness of what 
has been amiss in our prayers. 

Lord, we have not prayed as we ought q; who 

e 1 Sam. i. 17. y Psalm xix. 14. ^1 Kings ?iii. 51, 52. 
h % Chron. vi. 40, 42. % John xvi. 23, k Phil. ii. 9. 

/ Cant. i. 3. m Dan. ix. 17. n Col. i. 13. o John t\, 42. 
/} Mat. xvii. 5. q Rom. viii. 26. 



CHAP. VII. FOR PRAYER. 1 99 

The Conclusion of Prayer. 

is there that does good and sins not r ? Even 
when we would do good, evil is present with us; 
and if to will be present, yet how to perform 
that which is good we know not : for the good 
that we would, we do not^, so that thou might- 
est justly refuse to hear even when we make many 
prayers s. But we have a great High Priest, 
who bears the iniquity of the holy things which 
the children of Israel hallow in all their holy 
gifts t: for his sake take away all that iniquity 
from us, even all the iniquity of our holy things, 
and receive us graciously, and love us freely u ; 
and deal not with us after our folly v, 

4. We may then recommend ourselves to the con- 
ductfprotection, and government of the divine grace^ 
in the further services that lie before us, and in the 
whole course of our conversation. 

And now let us be enabled to go from strength 
to strength, until we appear before God in Zion; 
and while we pass through the valley of Baca, 
let it be made a well, and let the rain of the di- 
vine grace and blessing fill the pools w. 

Now, speak. Lord, for thy servants hear a:. 
What saith our Lord unto his servants ^.^ Grant 
that we may not turn our ear away from hearing 
the law; for then our prayers will be an abomi- 
nation z; but may hearken unto God, that he 
may hearken unto us a. 

r Eccl. vii. 20. J Rona. vii. 18, 19. s Isa. i. 15. t Exod. 
xxviii. 38. u Hos. xiv. 2. v Job xlii. 8. xv Psalm Ixxxiv. 
6, 7. X 1 Sam. iii. 9. i/ Josh. v. 14>. z Prov. xxviii. 9. 
a Judges ix. 7. 



200 'A METHOD CHAP. VIL 

The Conclusion of Prayer. 



f And now, the Lord our God be with us as he 
was with our fathers ; let him not leave us nor 
forsake us, that he may incline our hearts unto 
him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his com- 
mandments, and his statutes, and his judgments. 
And let our hearts be perfect with the Lord our 
God all our days, and continue so till the end 
be bj that then we may rest, and may stand in 
our lot, and let it be a blessed lot in the end of 
the days. 

« 5. We may conclude all with doa:ologies, or som 
lem7i praises of God, ascribing honour and glory to 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and seaU 
ing up all our praises and prayers with an affec- 
tionate Amen. 

Now blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from 
everlasting to everlasting c. Amen and Amen. 

For ever blessed be the Lord God, the God 
of Israel, who only doth wondrous things, and 
blessed be his glorious name for ever ; and let 
the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen 
and Amen d. Yea, let all the people say, Amen, 
hallelujah e. 

To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus 
Christ for evevf. Amen. 

Now to God the Father, and our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he 
might deliver us from tlie present world, accord- 
ing to the will of God and our Father, be glory 
for ever and ever g. Amen. 

h 1 Kings viii. 57, 58, 61. c Psalm xli. IS — d Ixxii. 18, 
19 e cvi. 48. /Rom. xvi. 27. g Gal. i. S, 4, 5. 



CHAP. VII. FOR PRAYER. 201 

The Conclusion of Prayer. 



k«««^«^«'V^«/»«^%««>««^«.«v««^'»«««««V^«^«^V^«^«^«%««V% 



To God be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, 
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen A. 
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, 
the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever 
and ever/. Amen. To him be honour and power 
everlasting k; to him be glory and dominion /. 
Amen. 

Now unto him that is able to keep us from 
falling, and to present us faultless before the pre- 
sence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only 
wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, do- 
minion and power, now and for ever. Amen m. 
Hallelujah ; salvation, and glory, and honour, 
and power, unto the Lord our God. Amen, hal- 
lelujah n. 

And now we prostrate our souls before the 
throne, and worship God, saying, Amen, bless- 
ing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, 
and honour, and power, and might, be unto God 
for ever and ever o. Amen. 

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, 
be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and 
unto the Lamb for ever and ever; and let the 
whole creation say, Amen, Amen p. 

6. It is very pi^oper to sum up our prayers in 
that form of prayer which Christ taught his dis- 
ciples. 

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be 
thy name J thy kingdom come; thy will be done 

AEph.iii. 21. f 1 Tim. i. 17. /t vi. 16. / 1 Pet. v. 11. 
m Jude 1 4, 2.5. w Rev. xix. 1,4. o Rev. vii. II, 12. 

p Rev. V. 1 3. 

7 A a 



^02 A METHOD CHAP. Vlll. 

A Paraphrase on 

on earth as it is in heaven j give us this day our 
daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we 
forgive them that trespass against us; and lead 
us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, 
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the 
glory, for ever and ever. Amen q. 



CHAP. VIII. 



A Paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer^ in 
Scripture Expressions, 

The Lord's prayer being intended, not only for 
a form of prayer itself, but a rule of direction, 
a plan or model in little, by which we may frame 
our prayers; and the expressions being remark- 
ably concise, and yet vastly comprehensive, it 
will be of good use sometimes to lay it before us, 
and observing the method and order of it, to di- 
late upon the several passages and petitions of it, 
that we may use it the more intelligently; of 
which we shall only here give a specimen in the 
assistance we may have from some other scrip- 
tures. 

OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN. 

O Lord our God, doubtless thou art our Father 
though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel 
acknowledge us not; thou, O Lord, art our Father, 
our Redeemer, thy name is from everlasting r : 

y Mat.vi. 9— 13. r Isf* ^rM' ' 



CHAP. Vlir. FOR PRAYER. 203 

The Lord's Prayer. 

And we will from this time cry unto thee, Our 
Father, thou art the guide of our youth^'. 

Have we not all one Father, has not one God 
created us s ? Thou art the Father of our spirits, 
to whom we ought to be in subjection, and live t 
Thou art the Father of lights, and the Father 
of mercies w, and the God of all consolation v : 
The eternal Father xv, of whom, and through 
whom, and to whom are all things .r. 

Thou art the Father of our Lord Jesus Christy, 
whose glory was that of the only begotten of the 
Father, who is in his bosom z, by him, as one 
brought up with him, daily his delight, and re- 
joicing always before him a. 

Thou art in Christ, our Father, and the Fa- 
ther of all believers, whom thou hast predesti- 
nated to the adoption of children b, and into 
whose hearts thou hast sent the Spirit of thy Son, 
teaching them to cry Abba, Father c. Behold 
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed 
upon us, that we should be called the children 
of God d/ That the Lord God Almighty should 
be to us a Father, and we should be to him for 
sons and daughters e. And that as many as re- 
ceive Christ, to them thou shouldest give power 
to become the sons of God, even to them that 
believe on his name; which are born not of the 
will of man, but of God, and his grace/. [ 

J Jer.iii. 4. s Mai. ii. 10. t Heb. xii. 9. u James i. 17. 
V 2 Cor. i. 3. ro Isa. ix. 6. x Rom. xi. 36. y Eph. i. 3. 
z John i. 14, 18. a Prov. viii. 30. b Eph. i. 5. c Gal. iv. 6. 
d 1 John iii 1. e 2 Cor. vi. 18. /John i. 12, 13. 



204 A METHOD CHAP. VIII. 

A Paraphrase on 



■v^ %%%% %^ %%%%%% %^%'»%»v%v>**^/»*^^'%%^<^»^v^*<*^*%^i»»%%^%%^^%%%<% »»%%»% »%%%»» 



' O that we may receive the adoption of sons g, 
and that as obedient and genuine children we 
may fashion ourselves according to the example 
of him who hath called us, who is holy h ; and 
may be followers of God, as dear children, and 
conformed to the image of his Son f, who is the 
first-born among many brethren k. 

Enable us to come to thee with humble bold- 
ness and confidence /, as to a Father, a tender 
Father m^ who spares us as a man spares his son 
that serves him; and as having an Advocate with 
the Father n, who yet has told us that the Fa- 
ther himself loves us o. 

Thou art a Father; but where is thine hon- 
our j9.^ Lord, give us grace to serve thee as be- 
cometh children, with reverence and godly fear ^. 

Thou art a Father; and if earthly parents, be- 
ing evil, yet know how to give good gifts unto 
their children, how much more shall our heavenly 
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask 
him r ? Lord, give us the Spirit of grace and 
supplication 7*. 

We come to thee as prodigal children that have 
gone from our Father's house into a far country : 
But we will arise and go to our Father, for in 
his house there is bread enough, and to spare, 
and if we continue at a distance from him, we 
perish with hunger. Father, we have sinned 

g Gal. iv. 5. hi Pet. i. 14. i Eph. v. 1. k Rom. viii. 
29. / Eph, iii. 12. m Mal.iii. 17. n 1 John ii. 1. o John 
xvi. 27. p Mai. i. 6. q Heb.xii. 28. r Luke xi. 13. 
J Zech. xii. 10. 



CHAP. Vrir* FOR PRAYER. 205 

The Lord's Prayer. 

against heaven, and before thee, and are no more 
worthy to be called thy children, make us even 
as thy hired servants s. 

Thou art our Father in heaven, and therefore 
unto thee, O Lord, do we lift our souls. Unto 
thee we lift up our eyes, O thou that dweilest 
in the heavens: As the eyes of a servant are to 
the hand of his master, and the eyes of a maiden 
to the hand of her mistress, so do our eyes wait 
upon thee, O Lord our God t; a God whom the 
heaven of heavens cannot contain, and yet whom 
we may have access to w, having a High Priest 
that is passed into the heavens as our forerun- 
ner v. 

Thou, O God, dweilest in the high and holy 
place w, and holy and reverend is thy name a;, 
God is in heaven, and we are upon earthy, there- 
fore should we choose our words to reason with 
him Zf and yet through a Mediator we have bold- 
ness to enter into the holiest a. 

Look down, we pray thee, from heaven, and 
behold, from the habitation of thy holiness and 
of thy glory b, and have compassion upon us, and 
help us c. 

Heaven is the firmament of thy power d : O 
hear us from thy holy heaven, with the saving 
strength of thy right hand; send us help from 
thy sanctuary, and strengthen us out of Zion. 

s Luke XV. 17, 18, 19. t Psalm Ixxxvi. 4. — cxxili. 1, 2. 

u 1 Kings viii. 27. v Heb. iv. 14. tv Isa. Ivii. 15. x Psalm 
cxi. 9. y Eccl. V. 2. z Job ix. 14. a Heb. x. 19, b Isa. 
Ixiii. 15. c Mark ix. 22. d Psalm xx. 2, 6. 



206 A METHOD CHAP. VHI. 

A Paraphrase on 

************************** ********************************»^**V**/fc*^%*V* 

And O, that since heaven is our Father's 
house e, we may have our conversation there/, 
and may seek the things that are above ^. 



HALLOWED BE THY NAME. 

And now, what is our petition, and what is our 
request // ? What would we that thou shouldest 
do for us i ? This is our heart's desire and prayer 
in the first place. Father in heaven, let thy name 
be sanctified k. We pray that thou mayest be 
glorified as a holy God /. 

We desire to exalt the Lord our God, to wor- 
ship at his footstool, at his holy hill, and to praise 
his great and terrible name, for it is holy, for the 
Lord our God is holy m. Thou art holy, O thou 
that inhabitest the praises of Israel w. 

We glory in thy holy name, and therefore 
shall our hearts rejoice o, because that we have 
trusted in that holy name of thine /?, to which 
we will always give thanks, and triumph in thy 
praise q. 

Lord, enable us to glorify thy holy name for 
evermore, by praising thee with all our hearts r, 
and by bringing forth much fruit, for herein is 
our heavenly Father glorified j. O that we may 
be to our God for a name, and for a praise, and 
for a glory 5, that being called out of darkness 
into his marvellous light, to be to him a peculiar 

e John xiv. 2. f Phil. iii. 20. g Col. iii. I . h Esther 
V. 6. i Mat. XX. 32. k Rom. x. 1. / Lev. x. 3. m Psalm 
xcix. 3, 5, 9. n Psalm xxii. 3. o cv. 3. /?xxxiii. 21. 
q Psalm cvi. 4-7. r Ixxxvi. 12. j John xv. 18. s Jer. xiii. 11. 



CHAP. Vlir. FOR PRAYER. 207 

The Lord's Prayer. 

people, we may show forth the praises of him 
that hath called us /. 

O that we may be thy children, the work of 
thy hands, that we may sanctify thy name, and 
sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the 
God of Israel ?/, and may be to the praise of his 
glory V. 

Enable us, as we have received the gift, so to 
minister the same, as good stewards of the mani- 
fold grace of God, that God in all things may 
be glorified through Jesus Christ w. And if we 
suffer, enable us to suffer as Christians, and to 
glorify God therein: for this is our earnest ex- 
pectation and hope, that always Jesus Christ may 
be magnified in our bodies, in life and death x. 

Lord, enable others to glorify thee, even the 
strong people to glorify thee, and the city of 
the terrible nations to fear thee^; but especially 
let the Lord be magnified from the border of 
Israel z. Let them glorify the Lord in the fires, 
even the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the 
sea a, O let all nations, whom thou hast made, 
come and worship before thee, O Lord, and glo- 
rify thy name: for thou art great, and dost won- 
drous things, thou art God alone b. 

O let the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy, 
let his name be known among the Gentiles, and 
let them rejoice with his people c. O let thy 

t 1 Pet. ii. 9. u Isa. xxix. 23. v Eph. i. 12. to 1 Pet. iv. 
10, 1 1, 16. X Phil. i. 20. y Isa. xxv. 3. z Mai. i. 5. a Isa. 
xxiv. 15. b Psalm Ixxxvi. 9, 10. c Rom. xv. 9, 10. 



208 A METHOD CHAP. VIII. 

A Parapiirase on 

name be great among the Gentiles d, and let all 
the ends of the world remember and turn to the 
Lord, and all kindreds of the nations worship 
before thee; and let them declare thy righteous- 
ness to a people that shall be born e. 

Lord, do thou thyself dispose of all things to 
thy own glory, both as King of nations and King 
of saints/. — Do all according to the counsel of 
thy own will h, that thou mayest magnify thy- 
self, and sanctify thyself, and mayest be known 
in the eyes of many nations, that thou art the 
Lord L O sanctify thy great name, which has 
been profaned among the Heathen, and let them 
know that thou art the Lord, when thou shalt 
be sanctified in them k. 

Father, glorify thine own name /; Thou hast 
glorified it, glorify it yet again. Father, glorify 
thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee m. 
O give him a name above every name n; and in 
all places, in all things, let him have the preemi- 
nence o. 

Lord, what wilt thou do for thy great ^amep? 
Pour out thy Spirit upon all flesh q ; and let 
the word of Christ dwell richly in the hearts of 
all r. Be thou exalted, O Lord, among the hea- 
then, be thou exalted in the earthj : Be thou ex- 
alted, O Lord, above the heavens, let thy glory 

d Mai. i. 11. e Psalm xxii. 27, 31. J'Jer. x. 7. Rev. xv. 
3. h Eph. i. 1 1, i Ezek. xxxviii. 23 — k xxxvi. 23. / John 
xii. 28 — m xvii. 1. n Phil. ii. 10. o Col. i. 18. p Josh. vii. 
9. q Joel ii. 28, r Col. iii. 16. j Psalm xlvi. 10. 



f 

f 



CHAP. Vlir. FOR PRAYER. '^OS 

The Lord's Prayer. 

be above all the earth /; Be thou exalted, O Lord, 
in thine own strength, so will we sing and praise 
thy power u. Do great things with thy glorious 
and everlasting arm, to make unto thyself a glo- 
rious and everlasting name v. 

O let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, 
The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, even a 
God to Israel xv. 

THY KINGDOM COME. 

In order to the sanctifying and glorifying of 
thy holy name. Father in heaven, let thy king- 
dom come, for thine is the kingdom, O Lord, 
and thou art exalted as head above all. Both 
riches and honour come of thee; tliou reignest 
over all, and in thine hand is power and might, 
and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give 
strength unto all a: ; and w^e desire to speak of 
the glorious majesty of thy kingdom, for it is an 
everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures 
throughout all generations i/. Tiiou rulest by 
thy power for ever ; thine eyes behold the na- 
tions z. O let not the rebellious exalt themselves, 
but through the greatness of thy power let thine 
enemies submit themselves unto thee a. 

O make it to appear that the kingdom is thine, 
and that thou art the governor among the na- 
tions b; so evident, that they may say among the 
heathen, the Lord reigneth c; that all men may 

t Psalm Ivii. 11. u Psalm xxi. 1 3. v Isa. Ixiii. 12, H. 
u? 1 Chron. xvii. 24. j: xxix. 11, 12. y Psalm cxiv. 1 1, IS. 
z Pis. Ixvi. 7. a Ps. Ixvi. 3. b Pa. xxii. 28. c Pg. xcvi. 10. 
7 B b 



^10 A METHOD CHAP. VIII. 

A Paraphrase on 

fear, and may declare the works of God dy and 
may say, Verily he is a God that judgeth in the 
earth e. Make all the kings of the earth to know 
the heavens do rule, even that the most High 
ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to 
whomsoever he will, and to praise and to extol 
and honour the King of heaven, all whose works 
are truth, and his ways judgment, and those that 
walk in pride he is able to abase/. 

O let the kingdom of thy grace come more 
and more in the world g ; that kingdom of God 
which Cometh not with observation ; that king- 
dom of God which is within men. Let it be like 
leaven in the world, diffusing its relish, until the 
whole be leavened; and like a grain of mustard- 
seed, which, though it be the least of all seeds, 
yet, when it is grown, is the greatest among 
herbs //. 

Let the kingdoms of the world become the 
kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. Take 
unto thyself thy great power and reign, though 
the nations be angry /. Set up thy throne there 
where Satan's seat is k ; let every thought be 
brought into obedience to thee /, and let the law 
of thy kingdom be magnified and honourable tw. 
Let that kingdom of God, which is not in word, 
but in power, be set up in all the churches of 
Christ n. Send forth the rod of thy strength 



d Psalm Ixiv. 9: e Psalm Iviif. 1 1. ,/Dan. iv. 25, 26, 27. 

^ Luke xvii. 20, 21. A Matt.xiii, 31, 32, 33. t'Rev. xi. 15, 

17. k Rev. ii. 13. 12 Cor. x. 5. m Isa. xlii. 21. n I Cor. 
iv. 20. 



CHAP. VJir. FOR PRAYER. 211 

The Lord's Prayer. 

out of thy Zion, and rule by the beauty of holi- 
ness 0. 

Where the strong man armed hath long kept 
his palace, and his goods are in peace, let Christ, 
who is stronger than he, come upon him, and 
take from him all his armour wherein he trusted, 
and divide the spoil p, 

O give to the Son of man dominion and glory, 
and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and lan- 
guages may serve him, and the judgment may 
be given to the saints of the most High q. 

Let the kingdom of thy grace come more and 
more in our land, and the places where we live. 
There let the word of God have free course and 
be glorified r; and let not the kingdom of God 
be taken from us, as we have deserved it should, 
and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits 
thereof J. 

Let the kingdom of thy grace come into our 
hearts, that they may be the temples of the Holy 
Ghost s. Let no iniquity have dominion over 
us t. Overturn, overturn, overturn the power 
of corruption there, and let him come whose right 
our hearts are, and give them him u : make us 
willing, more and more willing, in the day of thy 
power V. Rule in us by the power of truth, that 
being of the truth, we may always hear Christ's 
voice w^ and may not only call him Lord, Lord, 
but do the things that he saith x. And let the 

o Pealra ex. 2, 3. /? Luke xi. 21, 22. yDan. vii. 14, 

22. r 2 Thess. iii. 1. j Matt. xxi. 43. s 1 Cor. iii. 16. 

/ Psalm cxix. 133. n Ezck. xxi. 27. v Psalm ex. 3. 

w John xviii. 37. x Luke vi. 46. 



1 



212 A METHOD CHAP. VIII, 

A Paraphrase on 



love of Christ command us, and constrain us^, 
and his fear be before our eyes, that we sin not z. 

O let the kincrdom of thy glory be hastened ; 
we believe it will come, we look for the Saviour, 
the Lord Jesus a, to come in the clouds of hea- 
ven with power and great glory b; we hope that 
he shall appear to our joy c; we love his appear- 
ing d; we are looking for, and hastening to the 
coming of the day of God e; make us ready for it, 
that we may then lift up our heads with joy, know- 
ing that our redemption draws nigh./^ And O 
that we may have such first-fruits of the Spirit, 
as that we ourselves may groan within ourselves, 
waiting for the adoption, even the redemption 
of our body h : and may have a desire to depart, 
and to be with Christ, which is best of all i. 

Blessed Jesus, be with thy ministers and peo- 
ple (as thou hast said) always, even unto the 
end of the world k. And then, (as thou hast 
said) surely I come quickly /; even so come. Lord 
Jesus, come quickly m: When the mystery of God 
shall be finished, make haste, our beloved, and be 
thou like a roe, or a young hart, upon the moun- 
tains of spices n, 

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. 

And as an evidence that thy kingdom comes, 
and in order to the sanctifying of thy name, 
Father in heaven, let thy holy will be done. We 

y2Cor. V. 14. gExod.xx. 20. a Phil iii. 20. A Matt. 

xxiv. 30. c Isa. Ixvl. 5. d2 Tim. iv. 8. c 2 Pet. iii. 12. 

f Luke xxi. 28. h Rom. viii. 23. i Phil. i. 23. k Matt. 

xxviii. 20. / Rev.xxii. 20. m Rev. x, 7. n Cant. viii. 14-. 



CHAP. VIII. FOR PRAYER. 215 

The Lord's Prayer. 

know, O Lord, that whatsoever thou pleasest, 
that thou doest in heaven and in earth, in the 
sea, and in all deep places o. Thy counsel shall 
stand, and thou wilt do all thy pleasure/?: even 
so be it, holy Father; not our will, but thine be 
done q. As thou hast thought, so let it come 
to pass; and as thou hast purposed, let it stand r. 
Do all according to the counsel of thine own 
will J. Make even those to serve thy purposes 
that have not known thee, and that mean not 
so, neither doth their heart think so 5. 

Father, let t% will be done concerning us 
and ours /: Behold, here we are: it is the Lord, 
let him do to us as seemeth good unto him u. 
The will of the Lord be done v. O give us to 
submit to thy will, in conformity to the example 
of the Lord Jesus, who said, Not as I will, but 
as thou wilt w ; and to say, the Lord gave, 
and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the 
name of the Lord x. Shall we receive good at 
the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive 
evil also y. 

Father, let the scriptures be fulfilled z^ the 
scriptures of the prophets, which cannot be bro- 
ken a. Though heaven and earth pass away, let 
not one jot or title of thy word pass away b. Do 
what is written in the scriptures of truth c; and 



o Psalm cxxxv. 6. p Isa. xlvi. 10. q Luke xxii. 42. 

T Isa. xiv. 24. j Eph. i. 1 1. s Isa. x. 7. M Sam. iii. 18. 

u 2 Sam. xv. 26. v Acts xxi. 14. tc Matt. xxvi. 39. 

X Job i. 21.—^ ii. 10. z Matt. xxvi. 56, a John x. 35. 
b Matt. xxiv. 35. c Dan. x. 21. 



214 A iMETHOD CHAP, VIII. 

A Paraphrase on 

let it appear, that for ever, O Lord, thy word 
is settled in heaven d. 

Lord, give grace to each of us to know and 
do the will of our Father which is in heaven e. 
This is the will of God, even our sanctificationyi 
Now the God of peace sanctify us wholly g, O 
let us be filled with the knowledge of thy will in 
all wisdom and spiritual understanding /^, and 
make us perfect in every good work to do thy 
will i, O let the time past of our life suffice us 
to have wrought the will of the flesh k, and to 
have walked according to the course of this 
world /; and from henceforth grant that it may 
be always our meat and drink to do the will of 
our Father, and to finish his work m ; not to do 
our own will, but his that sent us n ; that we 
may be of those that shall enter into the king- 
dom of heaven o, and not those that shall be 
beaten with many stripes p. 

Lord, give grace to others also to know and 
to do thy will ; to prove what is the good and 
acceptable and perfect will of God q, not to be 
unwise, but understanding what the will of the 
Lord is r, and then give them to stand perfect 
and complete in all the will of God J, and let us 
all serve our generations according to that will s. 

And when we have done the will of God, let 
us inherit the promises /; and let that part of 

d Psalm cxix. 89. e Matt. xii. 50. / 1 Tliess. iv. 3. 

g 1 Thesj. V. 23. h Col. i. 9. i Heb. xili. 21. k 1 Pet. iv. 
3. I Eph. ii. 2. 7n John iv. 3L 71 John vi. 38. Mat. vii. 
21. /? Luke xii. 47. y Rom. xii. 2. r Eph. v. 17. j Gal. 
iv. 12. s Acts xiii. 36. t Heb. x. 36. 



CHAP. VIII. FOR PRAYER. 215 

The Lord's Prayer. 



the will of God be done; Lord, let the word, of 
which thou hast spoken concerning thy servants, 
be established for ever, and do as thou hast said ii. 
We rejoice that thy will is done in heaven : 
that the holy angels do thy commandments, and 
always hearken to the voice of thy word v; that 
they always behold the face of our Father w. 
And we lament that thy will is so little done 
on earth, so many of the children of men being 
led captive by Satan at his will x, O that this 
earth may be made more like to heaven ! and 
saints more like to the holy angels ! and that 
we, who hope to be shortly as the angels of God 
in heaven y, may now, like them, not rest from 
praising him z: may now, like them, resist and 
withstand Satan a; may be as a flame of fire b, 
and fly swiftly, and may go straight forward 
whithersoever the Spirit goes c, may minister 
for the good of others e, and thus may come in- 
to communion with the innumerable company of 
angelsyr 

GIVE us THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. 

Thou, O God, who hast appointed us to seek 
first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness 
thereof, hast promised, that if we do so, other 
things shall be added unto us^'*. And therefore 
having prayed for the sanctifying of thy name, 
the coming of thy kingdom, and the doing of 

u 1 Chron. xvii, 23. v Psalm ciii. 20. ic Matt, xviii. 10. 
X 2 Tim. ii. 26. y Malt. xxii. 30. z Rev. iv. 8. a Dan. 
X. 13. 6 Psalm civ. 4. c Dan. ix. 2L Ezek. i. 9, 12. 

eHeb. i. 14. /Heb. xii. 22. g Malt. vi. 33. 



216 A METHOD CHAP. VlII. 

A Paraphrase on 



«%%1 *%%%**%X**W**V**%**%**'»^>*'V^*^***<%***^****V»***%*,*V^»^».»».V%*%%»^V*^/^ 



thy will, we next pray, Father in heaven, give us 
this day, give us day by day, our daily bread //. 

Remove far from us vanity and lies ; give us 
neither poverty nor riches ; feed us with food 
convenient for us, lest we be full and deny thee, 
and say, who is the Lord ? Or lest we be poor 
and steal, and take the name of our God in vain L 

Lord, we ask not for dainties, for they are 
deceitful meat k ; nor do we pray that we may 
fare sumptuously every day, for we would not in 
our life-time receive our good things /; but we 
pray for that bread which is necessary to strength- 
en man's heart m. We desire not to eat the 
bread of deceit t?, nor to drink any stolen waters o, 
nor would we eat the bread of idleness p, but 
that, if it be thy will, we may eat the labour of 
our hands q ; that with quietness we may work, 
and eat our own bread r .• having food and rai- 
ment, give us therewith to be content^*, and to 
say, we have all, and abound s. 

Bless, Lord, our substance, and accept the 
work of our hands /; and give us wherewithal to 
provide for our own, even for those of our own 
house u, and to leave an inheritance, as far as is 
just, to our children's children v. Let the beauty 
of the Lord our God be upon us, prosper thou 
the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work 
of our hands establish thou it w. Bless, Lord, 

h Lukexi. 3. t Prov. xxx. 8, 9. k Prov. xxiii. 3. / Luke 
xvi. 19, 25. m Ps. civ. 15. n Prov. xx. 17- o Prov. ix. 17. 
p Prov. xxxi 27. q Psalm cxxviii. 2. r 2 Thess. iii 12. 
; 1 Tim. vi. 8. s Phil.iv. 18. t Deut. xxxiii. 11. m 1 Tim. 
V, 8. V Prov. xiii. 22. tu Psalm xc. 17. 



CHAP. VIII. FOR PRAYER. 217 

The Lord's Prayer. 

our land with the precious things of the earth, 
and the fulness thereof; but, above all, let us have 
the good-will of him that dwelt in the bush, even 
the blessing that was upon the head of Joseph, 
and upon the crown of the head of him that was 
separated from his brethren x. 

But if the fig-tree should not blossom, and 
there should be no fruit in the vine; if the labour 
of the olive should fail, and the fields should yield 
no meat; if the flocks should be cut off from the 
fold, and there should be no herd in the stall — 
yet let us have grace to rejoice in the Lord, and 
to joy in the God of our salvation y, * 

Father, we ask not for bread for a great while 
to come, but that we may have this day our daily 
bread; for we would learn, and the Lord teach ua 
not to take thought for the morrow, what we shall 
eat, or what we shall drink, or wherewithal w^e 
shall be clothed ; but we cast the care upon thee, 
our heavenly Father, who knowest that we have 
need of all these things; who feedest the fowls 
of the air, though they sow not, neither do they 
reap, and will much more feed us z, who are of 
more value than many sparrows a. 

Nor do we pray for daily bread for ourselves 
only, but for others also. O satisfy thy poor 
with bread b: Let all that walk righteously, and 
speak uprightly, dwell on high: Let the place 

X Deut. xxxiii. 15, 16. y Hab. iii. 17, 18. x Matt. vi. 
26, 31, S2. a Malt. x. 31. b Psalm cxxxii. 15. 
7 C c 



«v 



218 A METHOD CHAP. VUI. 

A Paraphrase on 

of their defence be the munition of Rocks; let 
bread be given to them, and let their water be 
sure c. 



AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE 
OUR DEBTORS. 

And, Lord, as duly as we pray every day for 
our daily bread, we pray for forgiveness of our 
sins. For we are all guilty before God, have all 
sinned, and have come short of the glory of God d. 
In many things we all offend every day e: Who 
can tell hoV often he offends//* If thou shouldest 
mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ? But 
there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest 
be feared g, God be merciful to us sinners h. 

We have wasted our Lord's goods i, we have 
buried the talents we were entrusted with k, nor 
have we rendered again according to the bene*fit 
done unto us; and thus we came to be in debt /. 
The scripture has concluded us all under sin m: 
we have done such things asare worthy of death n; 
things for which the wrath of God comes upon 
the children of disubedience o. Our debt is 
more than ten thousand talents p. It is a great 
debt, and we have nothing to pay ; so far are we 
from being able to say. Have patience with us 
and we will pay thee all. Justly therefore might 

c Is. xxxiii. 15, 16. d Rom. iii. 19, 23. , e James iii. 2. 

yPsalm xix. 12. g Psaira cxxx. 3, 4?. h Luke xviii 13. 

i Luke xvi. 1. ?Mat. xxv. 18. / 2Cliron. xxxii. 25. 

m Gal iii. 22. n Rom. i. 32. o Eph. v. 6. p Mat. xviii. 

24, 25, 26, 32. 



CHAP. Vlll. FOR PRAYER. 219 

The Lord's Prayer. 

our adversary deliver us to the judge, and the 
judge to the officer, to be cast into prison, the pri- 
son of hell, till we should pay the last farthing q. 

But blessed be God there is a way found out 
of agreeing with our adversary; for if any man 
sin, we have an advocate with the Father, even 
Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propi- 
tiation for our sins r. For his sake, we pray thee, 
blot out all our transgressions j, and enter not 
into judgment with us s. He is our surety t, who 
restored that which he took not away w, that 
blessed day's man, who hath laid his hand upon 
us both v; through him let us be reconciled unto 
God w, and let the hand-writing which was 
against us, which was contrary to us, be blotted 
out, and taken out of the way, being nailed to 
the cross of Christ, that we may be quickened 
together with Christ, having all our trespasses 
forgiven us x. Be thou merciful to our unright- 
eousness, and our sins and our iniquities do thou 
remember no more^. 

And give us, we pray thee, to receive the 
atonement js, to know that our sins are forgiven 
us fl. Speak peace to us Z>, and make us to hear joy 
and gladness c. Let the blood of Christ, thy Son, 
cleanse us from all sin rf, and purge our conscien- 
ces from dead works, to serve the living God e. 

q Matt. V. 25, 26. r I John il. 1 , 2. .; Psalm li. I . 

s Psalm cxliil. 2. t Heb.vii. 22. u Psalm Ixix. 4-. v Job ix. 
33. w 2 Cor. v. 20. x Col. ii. 1 3, 14. tj Heb. viii. 1 2. 
z Rom. V. 1 1. a \ John ii. 12. b Psalm Ixxxv. 8. c Psal. 
li.8. rfl John i.7. e Heb. ix. U. 



220 A METHOD CHAP. VIII. 

A Paraphrase on 

And, as an evidence that thou hast forgiven 
our sins, we pray thee give us grace to forgive 
our enemies, to love them that hate us, and 
bless them that curse usy^; for we acknowledge, 
that if we forgive not men their trespasses, nei- 
ther will our Father forgive our trespasses^. 
And therefore we forgive; Lord, we desire hear- 
tily to forgive //, if we have a quarrel against any, 
even as Christ forgives us i. Far be it from us 
to say that we will recompense evil k, or that 
we should avenge ourselves /. But we pray that 
all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and cla- 
mour, and evil-speaking, may be put away from 
us, with all malice; that we may be kind one to 
another, and tender-hearted, forgiving one ano- 
ther, even as God, for Christ's sake, we hope 
hath forgiven us m. O make us merciful, as our 
Father which is in heaven is merciful w; who hath 
promised, that with the merciful he will show 
himself merciful o. 

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER 
US FROM EVIL. 

And, Lord, forasmuch as there is in us a bent 
to backslide from thee jp, so that when our sins 
are forgiven, we are ready to return again to 
folly ^, we pray that thcu wilt not only forgive 
us our debts, but take care of us, that we may 
not offend any more r. Lord, lead us not into 

/Mat. V. 44. g Mat. vi. 15. h Mark xi. 25. i Col. 
iii. IS. k Prov. xx. 22. / Rom. xii. 19. m Eph. iv. 31, 32. 
n Luke vi. 36. o Psalm xviii. 25. p Hosea xi. 7. q P^alm 
Ixxxv. 8. r Job xxxiv. 32. 



CHAP. VIII. FOR PRAYER. 221 

'* jjjg Lord's Prayer. 

temptation. We know that no man can say, 
when he is tempted, that he is tempted of God j 
for God tempteth not any manj/ but we know 
that God is able to make all grace abound to- 
wards us Sy and to keep us from falling, and pre- 
sent us faultless /. We therefore pray that thou 
wilt never give us up to our own heart's lust, to 
walk in our own counsels u; but restrain Satan, 
that roaring lion, who goes about seeking whom 
he may devour v; and grant that we may not be 
ignorant of his devices w. O let not Satan have 
us to sift us as wheat ; or, however, let not our 
faith fail a:. Let not the messengers of Satan be 
permitted to buffet us; but if they be, let thy 
grace be sufficient for us, that where we are weak, 
there we may be strong 3/, and may be more than 
conquerors through him that loved us z. And 
the God of peace tread Satan under our feet, and 
do it shortly a. And since we wrestle not 
against flesh and blood, but against principali- 
ties and powers, and the rulers of the darkness 
of this world, let us be strong in the Lord, and 
in the power of his might b. 

Lord, grant that we may never enter into 
temptationc,buthavingprayed,may setawatchc/, 
and let thy wise and good providence so order 
all our affairs, and all events that are concerning 
us, that no temptation may take us, but such as 
is common to men, and that we may never be 

j James i. 1 3. s 2 Cor. ix. 8. t Jude 24. u Psalin 
Ixxxi. 12. vlPet.v. 8. u;2Cor. ii. J. x Luke xxii. 
31, 32. y2 Cor. xii. 7, 9, 10. z Rom. viii. 37- a Rom. 
xvi. 20. b Epli. vi. 10, 12. c Mat, xxvi. 41. d Neh. iv. 9. 



222 A METHOD CHAP. VIU. 

A Paraphrase on 

tempted above what we are able to discern, re- 
sist, and overcome, through the grace of God e. 
Lord, do not lay any stumblingblock before us^ 
that we should fall upon them and perish g. 
Let nothing be an occasion of falling to us, but 
give us that great peace which they have that 
love thy law, whom nothing shall offend h. 

And lead us, we pray thee, into all truth // 
lead us in thy truth, and teach us; for thou art 
the God of our salvation. Show us thy ways, 
O God, and teach us thy paths Z:, the paths of 
righteousness. O lead us in those paths for thy 
name*s sake, that so we may be led beside the 
still waters /. 

And deliver us, we pray thee, from the evil 
one; keep us that the wicked one touch us not w, 
that he sow not his tares in the field of our hearts^, 
that we be not ensnared by his wiles, or wounded 
by his fiery darts o; let the word of God abide 
in us, that we may be strong, and may overcome 
the wicked one p. 

Deliver us from every evil thing; we pray that 
we may do no evil q. O deliver us from every 
evil work r ; save us from our sins s; redeem us 
from all iniquity /, especially the sin that doth 
most easily beset us u. Hide pride from us v; re- 
move from us the way of lying *w ; let us not eat 

e 1 Cor. X. 13. /Jer. vi. 21. g Rom. xiv. 13. h Psalm 
cxix. 165. i John xvi. 13. k Psalm xxv. 4, 5. / Psalm 
xxiii. 2, S. ml John v. 18. n Matt. xiii. 25. o Eph. vi. 
11,16. ;? 1 Johnii. 14. 7 2 Cor. xiii. 7. r 2 Tim. iv. 1 8. 
5 Matt. i. 21. t Titus ii. 14. u Heb. xii. 1. v Job xxxiii. 
17. ly Psalm cxix. 29. 



CHAP. Vlir. FOR PRAYER. 2^3 

The Lord's Prayer. 

of sinners' daintiest; incline our hearts to thy 
testimonies, and not to covetousness z/; andkeep 
us that we never speak unadvisedly with our 
lips z. But especially keep back thy servants 
from presumptuous sins, let them not have do- 
minion over us a. 

Preserve us, we pray thee, that no evil thing 
may befall us b; and keep us from evil, that it 
may not hurt us c. O thou that savest by thy 
right hand them which put their trust in thee, 
from those that rise up against them, show us 
thy marvellous loving-kindness, and keep us as 
the apple of thine eye, hide us under the shadow 
of thy wings d. Keep that which we commit 
unto thee e. Thou that hast delivered, dost de- 
liver/, and we trust and pray that thou wilt yet 
deliver, wilt deliver us from all our fears g. O 
make us to dwell safely, and grant that we may 
be quiet from the fear of evil h. And bring us 
safe at last to thy holy mountain, where there is 
no pricking brier, or grieving thorn, nothing to 
hurt or destroy i, 

FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER, AND 
THE GLORY, FOR EVER. AMEN. 

Father in heaven, let thy kingdom come; for 
thine is the kingdom: thou art God in heaven, 
and rulest over all the kingdoms of the hea- 
then k. Let thy will be done, for thine is the 

X Psalm cxli. 4. y Psaira cxix. 36. z Psalm cvi. 33. 

a Psalm xix. 13. 6 Psalm xci. 10. c Psalm cxxi. 7. 

d Psalm xvii. 7, 8. e 2 Tim. i. 12. /2 Cor. i. 10. g Psalm 
xxxiv. 4*. h Prov. i. 33. i Ezek. xxviii. 24-. Isa. xi. 9. 

k 2Chron. XX.6. 



224- A METHOD CHAP. VIII, 

A Paraphrase on 

power 7W, and there is nothing too hard for thee: 
Let thy name be sanctified, for thine is the glo- 
ry, and thou hast set thy glory above the hea- 
vens n. 

Father in heaven, supply our wants, pardon 
our sins, and preserve us from evil; for thine is 
the kingdom, the power, and the glory, and thou 
art Lord over all, who art rich to all that call 
upon thee o. None can forgive sins but thou 
only p. Let thy power be great in pardoning our 
sins q. And since it is the glory of God to par- 
don sin, and to help the helpless r: help us, O 
God of our salvation; for the glory of thy name 
deliver us, and purge away our sins for thy 
name's sakej. 

We desire, in all our prayers, to praise thee; 
for thou art great, and greatly to be praised s. 
We praise thy kingdom, for it is an everlasting 
kingdom, and endures throughout all genera- 
tions ty and the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right 
sceptre u. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest 
wickedness. To thee belongeth mercy, and 
thou renderest to every man according to his 
works V, We praise thy power, for thou hast a 
mighty arm, strong is thy hand, and high is thy 
right hand, and yet judgment and justice are 
the habitation of thy throne, mercy and truth 
shall go before thy face w. We praise thy glo- 
ry, for the glory of the Lord shall endure for 

w Jer. xxxii. 17. « Psalm viii. 1. o Rom. x. 12. ;? Mark 
ii. 7. q Numb. xiv. 17 — 19. r Prov. xxv. 2. j Psalm 
Ixxix. 9. s Psalm cxlv. 3. t Psalm cxlv. 13. u Psalm xlv. 
6, 7. V Psalm Ixii. 1 2. xo Psalm Ixxxv. 1 3, 1 4. 



CHAP. Vlir. FOR PRAYER. 225 

The Lord's Prayer. 

ever. Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and 
to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, 
is now, and ever shall be x. O let God be praised 
in his sanctuary, and praised in the firmament 
of his power, let him be praised for his mighty 
acts, and praised according to his excellent great- 
ness. Let every thing that hath breath praise 
the Lord ^. Hallelujah. 

And forasmuch as we know that he heareth 
us, and whatsoever we ask, according to his will, 
in faith, we have the petitions that we desired of 
him z; we will triumph in his praise a. Now 
know we that the Lord heareth his Anointed b^ 
and for his sake will hear us from his holy heaven, 
with the saving strength of his right hand; and 
therefore, in token, not only of our desire, but of 
our assurance to be heard in Christ's name, we 
say, Ameriy Amen, 

Our Father which art in heaven^ hallowed be thy 
name, ^c. 



X Psalm civ. 31. y Psalm cl. 1, 2, 6. z\ John y. 15. 
a Psalm cvi. 47. b Psalm xx. 6. 



D d 



S26 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

CHAP. IX. 

SOME SHORT FORMS OF PRAYER, 

For the use of those who may not he able to collect 
for themselves out of the Joregoing materials. 

A PRAYER TO BE USED BY CHILDREN. 

O God, thou art my God, early will I seek 
thee. 

Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; my 
father's God, and I will extol thee. 

Who is a God like unto thee, glorious in holi- 
ness, fearful in praises, doing wonders. 

Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and there 
is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. 
When my flesh and my heart fail, thou art the 
strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 

Thou madest me for thyself to show forth thy 
praise. 

But I am a sinner ; I was shapen in iniquity, 
and in sin did my mother conceive me. 

God be merciful to me a sinner. 

O deliver me from the wrath to come, through 
Christ Jesus, who died for me, and rose again. 

Lord, give me a new nature. Let Jesus Christ 
be formed in my soul, that to me to live may be 
Christ, and to die may be gain. 

Lord, I was in my baptism given up to theej 
receive me graciously, and love.me freely. 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 227 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Lord Jesus, thou hast encouraged little chil- 
dren to come to thee, and hast said, that of such 
is the kingdom of God. I come to thee ; O make 
me a faithful subject of thy kingdom, take me 
up in thy arms, put thy hands upon me, and 
bless me. 

O give me grace to redeem me from all ini- 
quity, and particularly from the vanity which 
childhood and youth is subject to. 

Lord, give me a wise and an understanding 
heart, that I may know and do thy will in every 
thing, and may in nothing sin against thee. 

Lord, grant that from my childhood I may 
know the holy scriptures, and may continue in 
the good things that 1 have learned. 

Remove from me the way of lying, and grant 
me thy law graciously. 

Lord, be thou a Father to me; teach me and 
guide me; provide for me, and protect me; and 
bless me, even me, O my Father. 

Bless all my relations [father, mother, bro- 
thers, sisters], and give me grace to do my duty 
to them in every thing. 

Lord, prepare me for death, and give me wis- 
dom to consider my latter end. 

O Lord, I thank thee for all thy mercies to 
me; for life and health, food and raiment, and 
for my education; for my creation, preserv .tion, 
and all the blessings of this life; but, above all, 
for thine inestimable love in the redemption of 
the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means 
of grace, and the hope of glory. 



S2S A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 



>«« %«%«%«««««%'«»' 



k**V*'V%'V*'».'V*'%».'V **%*%* < 



Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift ; 
blessed be God for JESUS CHRIST. None 
but Christ, non^ but Christ for me. 

Now to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost, that great name into which I was bap- 
tized, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, 
for ever and ever. Amen. 

Our Father which art in heaven^ S^c, 



Another Paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer, in the \ 
words of the Assembly's shorter Catechism, 

Our Father in heaven, we come to thee as 
children to a Father, able and ready to help us. 

We beseech thee, let thy name be sanctified; 
enable us and others to glorify thee in all that 
whereby thou hast made thyself known, and dis- 
pose of all things to thine own glory. 

Let thy kingdom come; let Satan's kingdom 
be destroyed, and let the kingdom of thy grace 
be advanced; let us and others be brought into 
it, and kept in it, and let the kingdom of thy 
glory be hastened. 

Let thy will be done on earth, as it is done in 
heaven; make us by thy grace able and willing to 
know, obey, and submit to thy will in all things, 
as the angels do in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread; of thy hee 
gift let us receive a competent portion of the 
good things of this life, and let us enjoy thy 
blessing with them. 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 2^9 

Some forms of Prayer. 

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive 
them that trespass against us. We pray, that for 
Christ's sake thou wouldest freely pardon all our 
sins, and that by thy grace thou wouldest enable 
us from the heart to forgive others. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver 
us from evil. Either keep us, O Lord, from be- 
ing tempted to sin, or support and deliver us 
when we are tempted. 

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the 
glory for ever. Lord, we take our encourage- 
ment in prayer from thyself only, and desire in 
our prayers to praise thee, ascribing kingdom, 
power, and glory to thee : And in testimony of 
our desires, and assurance to be heard through 
Jesus Christ, we say. Amen, 

Another prayer, drawn out of my flain Catechism 
Jar children (which was first published in the 

year I7OS J, which will he easy to those Children 

who have learned that Catechism, 

O Lord, thou art an infinite and eternal Spirit, 
most wise and powerful, holy, just, and good. 

Thou art the great God that madest the 
world, and art my Creator; and thou that madest 
me dost preserve and maintain me ; and in thee 
I live, and move, and have my being. O that 
I may remember thee as my Creator in the days 
of my youth, and never forget thee. 

Lord, give me grace to serve and honour thee, 
to worship and obey thee; and in all my ways to 
trust in thee, and to please thee. 



230 A METHOD CHAP. IX, 

Some forms of Prayer. 



^^%%»^%-%%^<^</v»^%^<^%/^%<»%'*'%^<»^%>»^^< 



Lord, I thank thee for thy holy word, which 
thou hast given me to be the rule of my faith and 
obedience, and which is able to make me wise 
unto salvation. 

I confess, O Lord, that the condition I was 
born in is sinful and miserable. I am naturally 
prone to that which is evil, and backward to that 
which is good, and foolishness is bound up in my 
heart: and I am by nature a child of wrath, so 
that if thou hadst not raised up a Saviour for me, 
I had been certainly lost and undone for ever, I 
have been disobedient to the command of God, 
and have eaten forbidden fruit. 

But blessed, and for ever blessed be God for 
the Saviour Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, 
and the only Mediator between God and man, 
who took our nature upon him, and became man, 
that he might redeem and save us. 

Lord, 1 bless thee for his holy life ; give me to 
follow his steps. I bless thee for the true and ex- 
cellent doctrine which he preached ; give me to 
mix faith with it. I bless thee for the miracles 
which he wrought to confirm his doctrine; and 
especially that he died the cursed death of the 
cross to satisfy for sin, and to reconcile us to God, 
and that he rose again from the dead on the third 
day, and ascended up into heaven, where he ever 
lives, making intercession for us, and hath all 
power, both in heaven and in earth ; and that we 
are assured he will come again in glory to judge 
the world at the last day. 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 231 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Lord, I thank thee that I am one of his dis- 
ciples, for I am a baptized Christian ; and I give 
glory to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in whose 
name I was baptized. 

Lord, be tliou in Christ to me a God, and make 
me one of thy people. 

Be thou my chief good and highest end; let 
Jesus Christ be my Prince and Saviour ; and let 
the Holy Ghost be my sanctifier and teacher, 
my guide and comforter. 

Lord, enable me to deny all ungodliness and 
worldly fleshly lusts, and to live soberly, righte- 
ously, and godly in this present world, always 
looking for the blessed hope. 

Work in me repentance towards God, and faith 
towards our Lord Jesus Christ; and give me to 
live a life of faith and repentance. 

Lord, make me truly sorry that I have of- 
fended thee, in what I have thought, and spoken, 
and done amiss, and give me grace to sin no 
more. 

And enable me to receive Jesus Christ, and to 
rely upon him as my Prophet, Priest, and King, 
and to give up myself to be ruled, and taught, and 
saved by him. 

Lord, grant unto me the pardon of my sins, 
the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. 

And give me grace to manifest the sincerity of 
my faith and repentance, by a diligent and con- 
scientious obedience to all thy commandments. 

Enable me to love thee with all my heart, and 
to love my neighbour as myself. 



1 



232 A METHOD CHAP. IX, 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Give me grace always to make mention of thy 
name with reverence and seriousness; to read and 
hear thy word with diligence and attention, to 
meditate upon it, to believe it, and to frame my 
life according to it. 

Lord, grant that I may receive all thy mercies 
with thankfulness, and bear all afflictions with 
patience and submission to thy holy will. 

Lord, grant that my heart may never be lifted 
up with pride, disturbed with anger, or any sin- 
ful passion; and that my body may never be de- 
filed with intemperance, uncleanness, or any 
fleshly lusts: and keep me from ever speaking any 
sinful words. 

Lord, give me grace to reverence and obey 
my parents and governors. I thank thee for their 
instructions and reproofs; I pray thee bless them 
to me, and make me in every thing a comfort to 
them. 

Lord, pity, help, and succour the poor, and 
those in affliction and distress. 

Lord, bless my friends, forgive my enemies, 
and enable me to do my duty to all men. 

Wherein I have in any thing offended thee, I 
humbly pray for pardon in the blood of Christ, 
and grace to do my duty better for the time to 
come ; and so to live in the.fear of God, as that 
I may be happy in this world, and that to come. 

Lord, prepare me to die and leave this world. 
O save me from that estate of everlasting misery 
and torment, which will certainly be the portion 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 233 

Some forma of Prayer. 

of all the wicked and ungodly, and bring nie safe 
to the world of everlasting rest and joy with thee 
and Jesus Christ. j jtc urri j 

And give me wisdom and grace to live a holy 
godly life, and to make it my great care and 
business to serve thee, and to save my own soul. 

All this I humbly beg in the name, and for 
the sake of Jesus Christ, my blessed Saviour and 
Redeemer, to whom, with thee, O Father, and 
the Eternal Spirit, be honour, glory, and praise, 
henceforth and for evermore. Amen. 



A Morning Frailer for a Family. 

O Lord our God, we desire, with all humility 
and reverence, to adore thee as a Being infinitely 
bright, and blessed, and glorious ; thou hast all 
perfection in thyself, and art the fountain of all 
being, power, life, motion, and perfection. 

Thou art good to all, and thy tender mercies 
are over all thy works ; and thou art continually 
doing us good, though we are evil and unthank- 
ful. ,.3 

We reckon it an unspeakable privilege that 
we have liberty of access to thee through Jesus 
Christ, and leave to call thee our Father in him. 
O look upon us now, and be merciful to us, as 
thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. 

O give us all to account our daily worship of 
thee in our family the most needful part of our 

8 EC 



QS4} A METHOD CHAP.li^ 

Some forms of Prayer. 



k«%«%««i%^ 



daily business, and the most pleasant part of our 
daily comforts. 

Thou art the God of all the families of Israel, 
be thou the God of our family, and grant, what- 
ever others do, we and ours may always serve 
the Lord ; that thou mayest cause the blessing to 
rest on our house from the beginning of the year 
to the end of it. Lord, bless us, and we are blessed 
indeed. 

We humbly thank thee for all the mercies of 
this night past, and this morning, that we have 
laid us down and slept, and waked again, because 
thou hast sustained us; that no plague has come 
nigh our dwelling : but that we are brought in 
safety to the light and comforts of another day. 

It is of thy mercies, O Lord, that we are not 
consumed, even because thy compassions fail not; 
they are new every morning ; great is thy faith- 
fulness, i 

We have rested and are refreshed, when many 
have been full of tossing to and fro till the dawn- 
ing of the day : We have a safe and quiet habi- 
tation, when many are forced to wander, and lie 
exposed. 

We own thy goodness to us, and ourselves we 
acknowledge less than the least of all the mercy, 
and of all the truth thou hast showed unto us.'^ 

We confess we have sinned against thee, we 
are guilty before thee, we have sinned, and have 
come short of the glory of God. We have cor- 
rupt and sl^iful natures, and are bent to back- 



CHAP. IX# FOR PRAYER. ^35 

Some forms of Prayer. 



tv^<^^^%/%%<%^%%^%%^%»^%^^%%< «««««>%«>%««%« 



slide from thee ; backward to good, and prone to 
evil continually. 

Vain thoughts come into us, and lodge within 

us, lying down and rising up, and they defile or 

disquiet our minds, and keep out good thoughts. 

We are too apt to burden ourselves with that care 

which thou hast encouraged us to cast upon thee. 

We are very much wanting in the duties of 

our particular relations, and provoke one another 

more to folly and passion than to love and to good 

works. We are very cold and defective in our 

love to God, weak in our desires towards him, 

and unsteady and uneven in our walking with 

him ; and are at this time much out of frame for 

his service. 

We pray thee forgive all our sins for Christ's 
sake, and be at peace with us in him who died to 
make peace, and ever lives making intercession. 
There be many that say. Who will show us 
any good? but, Lord, let us not be put off with 
the good of this world for a portion : For this is 
our heart's desire and prayer. Lord, lift up the 
light of thy countenance upon us, and that shall 
put gladness into our hearts, more than they have 
whose corn, and wine, and oil increaseth. 

Lord, let thy peace rule in our hearts, and i^ive 
law to us, and let thy peace keep our hearts «tnd 
minds, and give comfort to us ; and let the con- 
solations of God, which are neither few nor small, 
be our strength and our song in the house of our 
pilgrimage. 

Lord, we commit ourselves to thy care and 



^95 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

keeping this day. Watch over us for good ; com- 
pass us about with thy favour as with a shield : 
preserve us from all evil, yea, the Lord preserve 
and keep our souls ; preserve our going out and 
coming in. 

Our bodies, and all our worldly affairs, we com- 
mit to the conduct of thy wise and gracious pro- 
vidence, and submit to its disposal. Let no hurt 
or harm happen to us; keep us in health and safe- 
ty J bless our employments, prosper us in all our 
lawful undertakings, and give us comfort and suc- 
cess in them. Let us eat the labour of our hands, 
and let it be well with us. 

Our precious souls, and all their concerns, we 
commit to the government of thy Spirit and grace. 
O let thy grace be mighty in us, and sufficient 
for lis, and let it work in us both to will and to 
do that which is good, of thine own good plea- 
sure. 

O give us grace to do the work of this day in 
its day, according as the duty of the day requires, 
and to do even common actions after a godly sort, 
acknowledging thee in all our ways, and having 
our eyes ever up to thee, and be thou pleased to 
direct our steps. 

Lord, keep us from sinj give us rule over our 
own spirits, and grant that we may not this day 
break out into passion upon provocation, or speak 
unadvisedly with our lips. Give us grace to live 
together in peace and holy love, that the Lord 
may command the blessing upon us, even life 
for evermore. 



CH4P.IX- FOR PRAYER. 237 

Some forms of Prayer. 



*^»%%%%^%%<^< 



Make us conscientious in all our dealings, and 
always watchful against sin, as becomes those 
who see thine eye ever upon us. Arm us against 
every temptation, uphold us in our integrity, 
keep us in the way of our duty; and grant that 
we may be in thy fear every day, and all the day 
long. 

In every doubtful case, let our way be made 
plain before us ; and give us that wisdom of the 
prudent, which is at all times profitable to di- 
rect ; and let integrity and unrightness preserve 
us, for we wait on thee. 

Sanctify to us all our losses, crosses, afflictions, 
and disappointments, and give us grace to sub- 
mit to thy holy will in them, and let us find it 
good for' us to be afflicted, that we may be par- 
takers of thy holiness. 

Prepare us for all the events of this day, for 
we know not what a day may bring forth. Give 
us to ^tand complete in thy whole will ; to deny 
ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to fol- 
low Jesus Christ. 

Lord, fit us for death, and judgment, and eter- 
nity, and give us grace to live every day as those 
that do not know but it may be their last day. 

Lord, plead thy cause in the world ; build up 
thy church into perfect beauty ; set up the 
throne of the exalted Redeemer in all places 
upon the ruins of the devil's kingdom. Let the 
reformed churches be more and more reformed, 
and let every thing that is amiss be amended j 



i ■ 



^38 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

and lei those that suffer for righteousness' sake 
be supported and delivered. 

Do us good in these nations : bless the king 
and all in authority^ guide public counsels and 
affairs, over-rule all to thine own glory; let peace 
and truth be in our days, and be preserved to 
those that shall come after us. 

Be gracious to all our relations, friends, neigh- 
bours, and acquaintances, and do them good ac- 
cording as their necessities are. Supply the 
wants of all thy people. Dwell in the families 
that fear thee, and call upon thy name. For- 
give our enemies, and those that hate us ; give 
us a right and charitable frame of spirit towards 
all men, and all that is their's. 

Visit those that are in affliction, and comfort 
them, and be unto them a very present help. Re- 
cover the sick, ease the pained, succour the temp- 
ted, relieve the oppressed, and give joy to those 
that mourn in Zion. 

Deal with us and our family according to the 
tenor of the everlasting covenant, which is well 
ordered in all things, and sure, and which is all 
our salvation, and all our desire; however it pleas- 
eth God to deal with us and with our house. 

Now blessed be God for all his gifts both of 
nature and grace, for those that concern this life 
and that to come ; especially for Jesus Christ, the 
fountain and foundation of all; thanks be to God 
for his unspeakable gift. 

We humbly beseech thee, for Christ Jesus' sake, 
to pardon our sins, accept our services, and grant 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 239 

Some forms of Prayer. 



k««'»>»i««««« 



an answer of peace to our prayers, even for his 
sake who died for us, and rose again, who hath 
taught us to pray, Our Father which art in hea- 



An Evening Prayer for a Family, 

Most holy, and blessed, and glorious Lord God, 
whose we are, and whom we are bound to serve, 
for because thou madest us, and not we ourselves, 
therefore we are not our own, but thine, and unto 
thee, O Lord, do we lift up our souls. Thy face, 
Lord, do we seek; whither shall we go for happi- 
ness but to thee, from whom we derive our being? 

Thou art the great benefactor of the whole 
creation : Thou givest to all life, and breath, and 
all things. Thou art our Benefactor ; the God 
that hast fed us, and kept us all our life long un- 
to this day. Having obtained help of God, we 
continue hitherto monuments of sparing mercy, 
and witnesses for thee that thou art gracious, that 
thou art God and not man ; for therefore it is 
that we are not cut off. 

One day tells another, and one night certifies 
to another that thou art good, and doest good, 
and never failest those that seek thee, and trust 
in thee. Thou makest the outgoings of the morn- 
ing and of the evening to praise thee. 

It is through the good hand of our God upon 
us that we are brought in safety to the close of 
another day, and that, after the various employ- 
ments of the day, we come together at night to 
mention the loving-kindness of the Lord, and 



240 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forma of Prayer. 

the praises of our God, who is good, and whose 
mercy endureth for ever. 

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with 
his benefits, even the God of our salvation ; for 
he that is our God is the God of salvation. We 
have from thee the mercies of the day in its day, 
according as the necessity of the day requires, 
though we come far short of doing the work of 
the day in its day, according as the duty of the 
day requires. 

We bless thee for the ministration of the good 
angels about us, the serviceableness of the infe- 
rior creatures to us, for our bodily health and ease, 
comfort in our relations, and a comfortable place 
of abode; that thou hast not made the wilderness 
our habitation, and the barren land our dwelling ; 
and especially that thou continuest to us the use 
of our reason, and the quiet and peace of our 
consciences. : nirxo 

We bless thee for our share in the public tran- 
quillity, that thou hast given us a good land, in 
which we dwell safely under our own vines and 
fig-trees. 

Above all, we bless thee for Jesus Christ, and 
his mediation between God and man ; for the 
covenant of grace made with us in him, and all 
the exceeding great and precious promises and 
privileges of that covenant; for the throne of grace 
erected for us, to which we may in his name come . 
with humble boldness, and for the hope of eter- 
nal life through him. | 

We confess we have sinned against thee ; this j 



CftAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 24fl 

Some forms of Prayer. 

day we have sinned and done foolishly. O God, 
thou knowest our foolishness, and our sins are 
not hid from theej we mispend our time, we ne- 
glect our duty, we follow after lying vanities, and 
forsake our own mercies. We offend with our 
tongues. Are we not carnal, and walk as men, 
below Christians ? Who can understand his er- 
rors ? Cleanse us from our secret faults. 

We pray thee give us repentance for our sins 
of daily infirmity, and make us duly sensible of 
the evil of them, and of our danger by them ; and 
let the blood of Christ thy Son, which cleanseth 
from all sin, cleanse us from it, that we may lie 
down to-night at peace with God, and our souls 
may comfortably return to him, and repose in 
him as our rest. ' 

And give us grace so to repent every day for 
the sins of every day, as that, when we come to 
die, we may have but the sins of one day to repent 
of, and so we may be continually easy. -i 

Do us good by all the providences we are un- 
der, merciful or afflictive; give us grace to accom- 
modate ourselves to them, and by all bring us 
nearer to thee, and make u#»fitter for thee. 

We commit ourselves to thee this night, and 
desire to dwell in the secret place of the most 
High, and to abide under the shadow of the Al- 
mighty. Let the Lord be our habitation, and let 
our souls be at home in him. 

Make a hedge of protection, we pray thee, 
about us, and about our house, and about all that 
we have round about, that no evil may befall us, 

8 Ff 



24^^ A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

nor any plague come nigh our dwelling. The 
Lord be our keeper, who neither slumbers nor 
sleeps. Lord, be thou a sun and a shield to us. 

Refresh our bodies, we pray thee, with quiet 
and comfortable rest, not to be disturbed with 
any distrustful disquieting cares and fears ; but 
especially let our souls be refreshed with thy love, 
and the light of thy countenance, and with thy 
benignity, which is better than life. 

When we awake, grant that we may still be 
with thee, and may remember thee upon our beds, 
and meditate upon thee in the night-watches, and 
may improve the silence and solitude of our re- 
tirements for communion with God and our own 
hearts, that when we are alone we may not be 
alone, but God may be with us, and we with him. 

Restore us to another day in safety, and pre- 
pare us for the duties and events of it : and by 
all supports and comforts of this life, let our bo- 
dies be fitted to serve our souls in thy service, and 
enable us to glorify thee with both, remember- 
ing that we are not our own, we are bought with 
a price. 

And forasmuch ift we are now brought one 
day nearer our end. Lord, enable us so to num- 
ber our days, as that we may apply our hearts 
unto wisdom. Let us be minded, by our putting 
off our clothes, and going to sleep in our beds, of 
putting off the body, sleeping the sleep of death, 
and of making our bed in the darkness shortly, 
that we may be daily dying in expectation of it, 
and preparation for our change, that when we 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 243 

Some forms of Prayer. 



come to die indeed, it may be no surprize or ter- 
ror to us, but we may with comfort put off the 
body, and resign the spirit, knowing whom we 
have trusted. 

Lord, let our families be blessed in him, in 
whom all the families of the earth are blessed; 
blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly 
things, by Jesus Christ, and with temporal bless- 
ings as far as thou seest good for us. Give us 
health and prosperity, but especially let our souls 
prosper and be in health ; and let all that belong 
to us belong to Christ, that we, who live in a 
house together on earth, may be together for ever 
with the Lord. 

Look with pity upon a lost world, we beseech 
thee, and set up Christ's throne there where Sa- 
tan's seat is. Send the gospel where it is not, 
ir*nake it successful where it is; let it be mighty, 
through God, to the pulling down of the strong 
holds of sin. 

Let the Church of Christ greatly flourish in 
all places, and make it to appear that it is built 
upon a rock, and that the. gates of hell cannot 
prevail against it; and sulfer not the rod of the 
wicked any where to rest upon the lot of the 
righteous. 

Let the land of our nativity be still the par- 
ticular care of thy good providence, that in the 
peace thereof we may have peace. Let glory 
dwell in our land, and upon all the glory let there 
be a defence. 

Rule in the hearts of our rulers. We pray thee 



$ 



244? ...TA METHOD CHAP. tX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 



continue the king's life and government long a 
public blessing. Make all that are in places of 
public trust faithful to the public interest, and 
all that bear the sword a terror to evil doers, and 
a protection and praise to them that do well. 
Own thy ministers in their work, and give them 
skill and will to help souls to heaven. 
' Be gracious to all that are dear to us. Let the 
rising generation be such as thou wilt own, and 
do thee more and better service in their day than 
this has done. 

Comfort and relieve all that are in sorrow and 
affliction, lay no more upon them than thou wilt 
enable them to bear, and enable them to bear 
what thou dost lay upon them. 

Do for us, we pray thee, abundantly above what 
we are able to ask or think, for the sake of our 
blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the Lord ouH) 
righteousness. To Him, with the Father and 
the eternal Spirit, be glory and praise, now and 
forever. Amen, -^ ^ '^ 

,.:■; . . ■ . , i:(tr. ^p.r:>f^U\i^.r^ 



A Family Trayei^fyr the Lord's Day Morning. 



Most gracious God, and our Father in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, it is good for us to draw near 
to thee; the nearer the better, and it will be best 
of all when we come to be nearest of all in the 
kingdom of glory. 

Thou hast thy being of thyself, and thy hap- 
piness in thyself: We therefore adore thee as 



% 



CHAP,IX> FOR PRAYER, 245 

Some forms of Prayer. 



the great Jehovah. We have our being from 
thee, and our happiness in thee, and therefore it 
is both our duty and our interest to seek thee, 
to implore thy favour, and to give unto thee the 
glory due unto thy name. 

We bless thee for the return of the morning 
light, and that thou causest the day-spring to 
know its place and time. O let the day-spring 
from on high visit our dark souls, and the Sun of 
righteousness arise with healing under his wings. 
- We bless thee that the light we see is the 
Lord's: That this is the day which the Lord 
hath made, hath made for man, hath made for • 
himself, we will rejoice and be glad in it. That \| 
thou hast revealed unto us thy holy Sabbaths, 
that we were betimes taught to put a difference 
between this day and other days, and that we live 
in a land, in all parts of which God is publicly 
and solemnly worshipped on this day. 

We bless thee, that Sabbath liberties and op- 
portunities are continuedto us ; and that we are 
not wishing in vain for ijese days of the Son of 
man ; that our candlesticWs not removed out of 
its place, as justly it migl^^iave been, because 
we have left our first love. i: /ji.j jil :au: 

Now we bid this Sabbath welcome : Hosanna 
to the Son of David, blessed is he that cometh 
in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the high- 
est. O that we may be in the Spirit on this 
Lord's day; that this may be the Sabbath of the 
Lord in our dwelling j in our hearts a Sabbath 
of jrest from sin> and a S^bbayfeof rest in God, 



246 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Enable us, we pray thee, so to sanctify this Sab- 
bath, as that it may be sanctified to us, and be a 
means of our sanctification : that by resting to- 
day from our worldly employments, our hearts 
may be more and more taken off from present 
things, and prepared to leave them : and that by 
employing our time to-day in the worship of God, 
we may be led into a more experimental acquaint- 
ance with the work of heaven, and be made more 
meet for that blessed world. ; { 

We confess we are utterly unworthy of the ho- 
nour, and unable for the work of communion with 
thee ; but we come to thee in the name of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who is worthy, and depend 
upon the assistance of thy blessed Spirit to work 
all our works in us, and so to ordain peace for us. 

We keep this day holy, to the honour of God 
the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and • 
earth, in remembrance of the work of creation, 
that work of wonder, in which thou madest all 
things out of nothing by the word of thy power, 
and all very good; and they continue to this day 
according to thine own ordinance, for all are thy 
servants. Thou art worthy to receive blessing, 
and honour, and glory, and power j for thou hast 
created all things, and for thy pleasure they are 
and were created. O Thou, who at first didst 
command the light to shine out of darkness, who 
saidst on the first day of the first week, Let there 
be light, and there was light, we pray thee shine 
t?lus day into our hearts, and give us more and 
more of the light of the knowledge of the glory 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 247 

Some forms of Prayer. 



k «^^^«/k Wv««%«««^ %**»**%^%* »%%%%%v%»%%^%%%% »%v%^^ 



of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and let us be thy 
workmanship, created in Jesus Christ unto good 
works, a kind of first fruits of thy creatures. : > 

We likewise sanctify this day to the honour of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, 
and our exalted Redeemer, in remembrance of 
his resurrection from the dead on the first day 
of the week, by which he was declared to be the 
Son of God with power. We bless thee, that hav- 
ing laid down his life to make atonement for 
sin, he rose again for our justification, that he 
might bring in an everlasting righteousness. 
That the stone which the builders refused, the 
same is become the head-stone of the corner. 
This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in 
our eyes. We bless thee that he is risen from 
the dead as the first fruits of them that slept, 
that he might be the resurrection and the life to 
us. Now we pray, that while we are celebrating 
the memorial of his resurrection with joy and 
triumph, we may experience in our souls the 
power and virtue of his resurrection, that we 
may rise with him, may rise from the death of 
sin to the life of righteousn^, from the dust of 
this world, to a holy, heavenly, spiritual, and di- 
vine life. O that we may be planted together in 
the likeness of Christ's resurrection, that as Christ 
was raised from the dead by the glory of the Fa- 
ther, so we also may walk in newness of life. ■ 

We sanctify this day also to the honour of the 
eternal Spirit ; that blessed Spirit of grace the 



248 A METHCm > . CHAP. IX, 



Some forms of Prayer. 



Comforter, rejoicing at the remembrance of the 
descent of the Spirit upon the apostles on the 
day of Pentecost, the first day of the week like- 
wise. We bless thee, that when Jesus was glori- 
fied, the Holy Ghost was given to make up the 
want of his bodily presence, to carry on his under- 
taking, and to ripen things for his second coming;' 
and that we have a promise that he shall abide 
with us for ever. And now, we pray that the 
Spirit of him, that raised up Jesus from the dead, 
may dwell and rule in every one of us, to make 
us partakers of a new and divine nature. Come, 
O blessed Spirit of grace, and breathe upon tliese 
dry bones, these dead hearts of ours, that they 
may live, and be in us a Spirit of faith, and love^ 
and holiness, a Spirit of power, and of a sound 
mind. 

O Lord, we bless thee for thy holy word, which 
is a light to our feet, and a lamp to our paths, 
and which was written for our learning, that we 
through patience and comfort of the Scriptures 
might have hope ; that the Scriptures are preserv- 
ed pure and entire to us, and that we have them 
in a language that %e understand. We beg that 
we may not receive the grace of God here in vain. 
We bless thee that our eyes see the joyful light, 
and our ears hear the joyful sound, of a Re- 
deemer and a Saviour, and of redemption and 
salvation by him 5 that life and immortality 'are 
brought to light by the gospel. Glory be to 
God in the highest, for in and through Jesus 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. S49 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Christ there is on earth peace, and goodwill to- 
wards men. 

We bless thee for the great gospel record, that 
God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is 
in his Son. Lord, we receive it as a faithful say- 
ing, and well worthy of all acceptation : we will 
venture our immortal souls upon it ; and we are 
encouraged by it to come to thee, to beg for an 
interest in the mediation of thy Son. O let 
him be made of God to us wisdom, righteous- 
ness, sanctification, and redemption ; let us be 
effectually called into fellowship with him, and 
by faith be united to him, so that Christ may 
live in us, and we may grow up into him in all 
things, who is tlie head, that we may bring forth 
fruit in him ; and whatever we do in word or 
deed, we may do all in his name. O let us have 
the Spirit of Christ, that thereby we may make it 
appear we are his. And through him we pray 
that we may have eternal life, that none of us 
may come short of it, but that all of us may have 
the first fruits and earnest of it abiding in us. 

We bless thee for the new covenant made with 
us in Jesus Christ ; that when the covenant of 
innocency was irreparably broken, so that it was 
become impossible for us to get to heaven by 
that covenant, thou wast then pleased to deal 
with us upon new terms ; that we are under grace 
and not under the law; that this covenant is esta- 
blished upon better promises in the hand of a 
Mediator. Lord, we fly for refuge to it, we take 
hold of it as the hope set before us : O receive 

8 Gg 



250 A METHOD CHAP. IX, 

Some forms of Prayer. 

us graciously into the bond of this covenant, 
and make us accepted in the beloved, according 
to the tenor of the covenant. Thou hast declared, 
concerning the Lord Jesus, that he is thy be- 
loved Son in whom thou art well pleased ; and we 
humbly profess that he is our beloved in whom 
we are well pleased j Lord, be well pleased with 
us in him. 

O that our hearts may be filled this day with 
pleasing thoughts of Christ, and his love to us, 
that great love wherewith he loved us. O the 
admirable dimensions of that love I the height 
and depth, the length and breadth of the love 
of Christ, which passeth knowledge ! Let this 
love constrain us to love him, and to live to him 
who died for us and rose again. O that it may 
be a pleasure and mighty satisfaction to us to 
think, that while we are here praying at the foot- 
stool of the throne of grace, our blessed Saviour 
is sitting at the right hand of the throne of glory 
interceding for us. We earnestly beg, that through 
him we may find favour with thee our God, and 
may be taken into covenant and communion 
with thee. 

We humbly pray thee, for his sake, forgive all 
our sins, known and unknown, in thought, word, 
and deed. Through him let us be acquitted of 
all guilt, and accepted as righteous in thy sight. 
Let us not come into condemnation as we have 
deserved ; let our iniquity be taken away, and 
our sin covered; and let us be clothed with the 
spotless robe of Christ's righteousness, that the 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 251 

Some forms of Prayer. 



«^.v^«.»%%««.««%««%«^%%v«.*««^««.« 



t%^»^%%%%^%%»%^»^%%*%< 



shame of our nakedness may not appear. O let 
no cloud of guilt interpose between us and our 
God this day, to intercept our comfortable com- 
munion with him. And let our lusts be mortified 
and subdued, that our own corruptions may not 
be as a clog to us, to hinder the ascent of our 
souls heavenwards. 

We pray thee assist us in all our religious ser- 
vices of this thine own holy day. Go along with 
us to the solemn assembly; for if thy presence go 
not up with us, wherefore should we go up ? Give 
us to draw nigh to thee with a true heart, and in 
full assurance of faith. Meet us with a blessing j 
grace thine own ordinances with thy presence, 
that special presence of thine which thou hast 
promised there, where two or three are gathered 
together in thy name. Help us against our mani- 
fold infirmities, and the sins that do most easily 
beset us in our attendance upon thee. Let thy 
word come with life and power to our souls, and 
be as good seed sown in a good soil, taking root, 
and bringing forth fruit to thy praise; and let our 
prayers and praises be spiritual sacrifices, accept- 
able in thy sight through Christ Jesus; and let 
those that tarry at home divide the spoil. 

Let thy presence be in all the assemblies of 
good Christians this day : Grace be with all 
them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sinceri- 
ty : let grace be upon them all. In the chariot 
of the everlasting gospel let the great Redeemer 
ride forth triumphantly, conquering and to con- 



552 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

quer ; and let every thought be brought into 
obedience to him. Let many be brought to be- 
lieve the report of the gospel, and to many let 
the arm of the Lord be revealed. Let sinners be 
converted unto thee, and thy saints edified and 
built up in faith, holiness, and comfort unto sal- 
vation. Complete the number of thine elect, and 
hasten thy kingdom. 

Now the Lord of peace himself give us peace 
always by all means. The God of hope fill us 
with joy and peace in believing, for Christ Jesus 
sake, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer, who 
hath taught us to pray, Our Father which art in 
heaven, <Sc. 



A Family Prayer for the Lord^s Day 
Evening* 

O Eternal, and for ever blessed and glorious 
Lord God : Thou art God over all, and rich in 
mercy to all that call upon thee, most wise and 
powerful, holy, just, and good; the King of kings, 
and the Lord of lords; our Lord and our God. 

Thou art happy without us, and hast no need 
of our services, neither can our goodness extend 
unto thee, but we are miserable without thee ; 
we have need of thy favour, and are undone, 
for ever undone, if thy goodness extend not unto 
us; and therefore. Lord, we entreat thy favour 
with our whole hearts. O let thy favour be 



1 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 253 

Some forms of Prayer. 



**M 



towards us in Jesus Christ, for our happiness is 
bound up in it, and it is to us better than life. 
We confess we have forfeited thy favour, we 
have rendered ourselves utterly unworthy of it ; 
yet we are humbly bold to pray for it in the name 
of Jesus Christ, who loved us, and gave himself 
for us. 

We bewail it before thee, that by the corrup- 
tion of our nature we are become odious to thine 
holiness, and utterly unfit to inherit the kingdom 
of God, and that, by our many actual transgres- 
sions, we are become obnoxious to thy justice, 
and liable to thy wrath and curse. Being by na- 
ture children of disobedience, we are children of 
wrath, and have reason both to blush and trem- 
ble in all our approaches to the holy and righteous 
,God. Even the iniquity of our holy things would 
be our ruin, if God should deal with us accord- 
ing to the desert of them. 

But with thee, O God, there is mercy and 
plenteous redemption: Thou hast graciously pro- 
vided for all those that repent and believe the 
gospel, that the guilt of their sin shall be removed 
through the merit of Christ's death, and the power 
of their sins broken by his Spirit and grace ; and 
he is able to save to the uttermost all those that 
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to 
make intercession for us. 

Lord, we come to thee, as a Father, by Jesus 
Christ the Mediator, and earnestly desire, by re- 
pentance and faith, to turn from the world and 
the flesh to God, in Jesus Christ, as our ruler 



254 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Praj'er. 

and portion. We are sorry that we have offen- 
ded thee : we are ashamed to think of our treach- 
erous and ungrateful carriage towards thee. We 
desire that we may have no more to do with sin, 
and pray as earnestly that the power of sin may 
be broken in us, as that the guilt of sin may be 
removed from us. And we rely only upon the 
righteousness of Jesus Christ, and upon the me- 
rit of his death for the procuring of thy favour. 
O look upon us in him, and for his sake receive 
us graciously; heal our backslidings, and love us 
freely, and let not our iniquity be our ruin. 

We beg, that being justified by faith, we may 
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus 
Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitia- 
tion for sin, that he may be just, and the justi- 
fier of them which believe in Jesus. Through 
him who was made sin for us, though he knew 
no sin, let us, who know no righteousness of our 
own, be accepted as righteous. 

And the God of peace sanctify us wholly, be- 
gin and carry on that good work in our souls, re- 
new us in the spirit of our minds, and make us 
in every thing such as thou wouldst have us to 
be. Set up thy throne in our hearts, write thy 
law there, plant thy fear there, and fill us with all 
the graces of thy Spirit, that we may be fruitful 
in the fruits of righteousness, to the glory and 
praise of God. 

Mortify our pride, and clothe us with humili- 
ty; mortify our passions, and put upon us the 
ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 255 

Some forms of Prayer. 

the sight of God of great price. Save us from 
the power of a vain mind, and let thy grace be 
mighty in us, to make us serious and sober-mind- 
ed. Let the flesh be crucified in us, with all its 
affections and lusts, and give us grace to keep 
under our body, and to bring it into subjection 
to the laws of religion an i right reason, and al- 
ways to possess our vessel in sanctification and 
honour. 

Let the love of the world be rooted out of us, 
and that covetousness which is idolatry; and let 
the love of God in Christ be rooted in us. Shed 
abroad thy love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, 
and give us to love thee, the Lord our God, 
with all our heart and soul, with all our mind and 
might, and to do all we do in religion from a 
principle of love to thee. 

Mortify in us all envy, hatred, malice, and un- 
charitableness; pluck up these roots of bitterness 
out of our minds, and give us grace to love one 
another with a pure heart fervently, as becomes 
the followers of the Lord Jesus, who has given 
us this as his new commandment. O that bro- 
therly love may continue among us j love without 
dissimulation. 

We pray thee rectify all our mistakes; if in 
any thing we be in an error, discover it to us, and 
let the Spirit of truth lead us into all truth; the 
truth as it is in Jesus; the truth which is accord- 
ing to godliness: and give us that good under- 
standing which they have that do thy command- 
ments; and let thy love, and all good affections, 



256 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

abound in us yet more and more, in knowledge, 
and in all judgment. 

Convince us, we pray thee, of the vanity of this 
world, and its utter insufficiency to make us happy, 
that we may never set our hearts upon it, nor raise 
our expectation from it : And convince us of the 
vileness of sin, and its certain tendency to make 
us miserable, that we may hate it, and dread it, 
and every thing that looks like it, or leads to it. 
Convince us, we pray thee, of the worth of our 
own souls, and the weight of eternity, and the 
awfulness of that everlasting state which we are 
standing upon the brink of, and make us diligent 
and serious in our preparation for it, labouring 
less for the meat that perisheth, and more for 
that which endures to eternal life, as those who 
have set their affections on things above, and not 
on things that are on earth, which are trifling 
and transitory. 

O that time, and the things of time, may be as 
nothing to us in comparison with eternity, and 
the things of eternity; that eternity may be much 
upon our heart and ever in our eye ; that we may 
be governed by that faith, which is the substance 
of things hoped for, and the evidence of things 
not seen; looking continually at the things that 
are not seen, that are eternal. 

Give us grace, we pray thee, to look up to the 
other world w^ith such a holy concern, as that 
we may look down upon this world with a 
holy contempt and indifferency, as those that 
must be here but a very little while, and must 



I 



CHAP. IX, FOR PRAYER. 2^7 

Some forms of Prayer. 

be somewhere for ever; that we may rejoice, as 
though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we 
wept not, and buy as though we possessed not, 
and may use this world as not abusing it, because 
the fashion of this world passeth away, and we 
are passing away with it. 

O let thy grace be mighty in us, and sufficient 
for us, to prepare us for the great change which 
will come certainly and shortly, and may come 
very suddenly, which will remove us from a world 
of sense to a world of spirits; from our state of 
trial and probation to that of recompence and 
retribution ; and to make us meet for the inherit- 
ance of the saints in light ; that when we fail 
we may be received into everlasting habitations. 
Prepare us, we beseech thee, for whatever we 
may meet with betwixt us and the grave. We 
know not what is before us, and therefore know 
not what particular provision to make; but thou 
dost, and therefore we beg of thee to fit us by 
thy grace for all the services and all the suffer- 
ings which thou shalt at any time call us out to; 
and arm us against every temptation which we 
may at any time be assaulted with, that we may 
at all times, and in all conditions, glorify God, 
keep a good conscience, and be found in the way 
of our duty, and may keep up our hope and joy 
in Christ, and a believing prospect of eternal life ; 
and then welcome the holy will of God. 

G ive us grace, we pray thee, to live a life of com- 
munion with thee, both in ordinances and provi- 
9 H h 






258 A METHOD CHAP. IX, 

Some forms of Prayer. 

dences, to set thee always before us, and to have 
our eyes ever upon thee, and to live a life of de- 
pendence upon thee, upon thy power, providence, 
and promise, trusting in thee at all times, and 
pouring out our hearts before thee ; and to live a 
life of devotedness to thee, and to thine honour 
and glory as our highest end. And that we may 
make our religion not only our business, but our 
pleasure, we beseech thee enable us to live a life 
of complacency in thee, to rejoice in thee always; 
the making God our heart's delight, so that we 
may have our heart's desire; and this is our heart's 
desire, to know, and love, and live to God ; to 
please him, and to be pleased in him. 

We beseech thee preserve us in our integrity 
to our dying day, and grant that we may never 
forsake thee, or turn from following after thee, 
but that with purpose of heart we may cleave un- 
to the Lord, and may not count life itself dear 
to us, so we may but finish our course with joy 
and true honour. 

Let thy good providence order all the circum- 
stances of our dying, so as may best befriend our 
comfortable removal to a better world; and let 
thy grace be sufficient for us, to enable us to 
finish well ; and let us then have an abundant 
entrance ministered to us into the everlasting 
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And while we are here, make us wiser and 
better every day than another, more weaned 
from the world, and more willing to leave it; 



I 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 259 

Some forms of Prayer. 



more holy, heavenly, and spiritual ; that the longer 
we live in this world, the fitter we may be for 
another, and our last days may be our best days, 
our last works our best works, and our last com- 
forts our sweetest comforts. 

We humbly pray thee, accomplish all that which 
thou hast promised concerning thy church in the 
latter days. Let the earth be filled with thy glopyf 
let the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in, 
and let all Israel be saved. Let the mountain of 
the Lord's house be established upon the top of 
the mountains, and exalted above the hills, and 
let all nations flow unto it. 

Propagate the gospel in the plantations, and 
let the enlargement of trade and commerce con- 
tribute to the enlargement of thy church. Let 
the kingdom of Christ be set up in all places upon 
the ruins of the devil's kingdom. 

Hasten the downfall of the man of sin, and let 
primitive Christianity, even pure religion, and 
undefiled before God and the Father, be revived, 
and be made to flourish in all places; and let the 
power of godliness prevail and get ground among 
all that have the form of it. 

Let the wars of the nations end in the peace 
of the church, the shakings of the nations end 
in the establishment of the church, and the con- 
vulsions and revolutions of states and kingdoms 
in the settlement and advancement of the king- 
dom of God among men, that kingdom which 
cannot be moved. 



^GO A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Let Great Britain and Ireland flourish in all 
their public interests. Let thine everlasting gos- 
pel be always the glory in the midst of us, and 
let thy providence be a wall of fire round about 
us. Destroy us not, but let a blessing be among 
us, even a meat-offering and a drink-offering to 
the Lord our God. 

Be very gracious to our sovereign lord the king, 
protect his person, preserve his health, prolong 
his days, guide his counsels, let his reign be pros- 
perous, and crown all his undertakings for the 
public good. 

Bless the privy counsellors, the nobility, the 
judges and magistrates in our several counties and 
corporations, and make them in all their places 
faithful and serviceable to the interest of the na- 
tion, and every way public blessings. 

Bless all the ministers of thy holy word and sac- 
raments; make them burning and shining lights, 
and faithful to Christ, and to the souls of men; 
unite all thy ministers and people together in the 
truth, and in true love one to another ; pour out 
a healing spirit upon them, a spirit of love and 
charity, mutual forbearance and condescension, 
that with one shoulder and with one consent all 
may study to promote the common interest of 
our great Master, and the common salvation of 
precious souls. 

We pray thee prosper the trade of the nation and 
our coasts, disappoint the devices of our enemies 
against us, preserve the public peace, and keep 
all the people of these lands in quietness among \ 



A 



I 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 26l 

Some forms of Prayer. 

themselves, and due subjection to the authority 
God hath set over us : and let the Lord delight 
to dwell among us, and to do us good. 

Bless the fruits of the earth ; continue our plen- 
ty ; abundantly bless our provision, and satisfy 
even our poor with bread. 

We bless thee for all the mercies of this thine 
own holy day. We have reason to say, that a day 
in thy courts is better than a thousand. How 
amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts ! 
Bless the words we have heard this day to us, and 
to all that heard itj hear our prayers, accept our 
praises, and forgive what thy pure eye hath seen 
amiss in us and our performances. 

Take us under thy protection this night, and 
enable us to close the day with thee, that we may 
lie down, and our sleep may be sweet. Be with 
us the week following in all our ways; forgive us 
that we brought so much of the week with us in- 
to the Sabbath, and enable us to bring a great 
deal of the Sabbath with us into the week, that 
we may be the fitter for the next Sabbath, if we 
should live to see it. 

Make us meet for the everlasting Sabbath, 
which we hope to keep within the vail, when time 
and days shall be no more : And let this day 
bring us a Sabbath day's journey nearer heaven, 
and make us a Sabbath day's work fitter for it. 

As we began this Lord's day with the joyful 
memorials of Christ's resurrection, so we desire 
to conclude it with the joyful expectation of 
Christ's second coming, and of our own resur- 



S62 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

rection, then to a blessed immortality, triumph- 
ing in hope of the glory of God, 

Bless the Lord, love the Lord, O our souls, and 
let all that is within us love and bless his holy 
name ; for he is good, and his mercy endures for 
ever. In praising God, we desire to spend as 
much of our time as may be, that we may begin 
our heaven now; for in this good work we hope 
to be spending a happy eternity. 

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invis- 
ible, the only wise God, and our God, in three 
Persons; Faft:her, Son, and Holy Ghost, be honour 
and glory, dominion and praise, henceforth and 
for ever. Amen, 



A Prayer proper to he put up by Parents for their 
Children. 

O Lord our God, the God of the spirits of all 
flesh: all souls are thine, the souls of the parents 
and the souls of the children are thine, and thou 
hast grace sufficient for both. 

Thou wast our father's God, and as such we 
will exalt thee; thou art our children's God, and 
also we will plead with thee ; for the promise is to 
us and to our children, and thou art a God in 
covenant with believers and their seed. 

Lord, it is thy good providence that hath built 
us up into a family. We thank thee for the chil- 
dren thou hast graciously given thy servants ; the 
Lord that hath blessed us with them, make them 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 263 

Some forms of Prayer. 

blessings indeed to us, that we may never be 
tempted to wish we had been written childless. 

We lament the iniquity which our children are 
conceived and born in ; and that corrupt nature 
which they derive through our loins. 

But we bless thee there is a fountain opened 
for their cleansing from that original pollution, 
and that they were betimes by baptism dedicated 
to thee, and admitted into the bonds, and under 
the blessings of thy covenant : that they are born 
in thy house, and taken in as memters of thy 
family upon earth. ^ 

It is a comfort to us to think that they are 
baptized, and we desire humbly to plead it with 
thee. They are thine, save them. Enable them, 
as they become capable, to make it their own act 
and deed to join themselves unto the Lord, that 
they may be owned as thine in that day when 
thou raakest up thy jewels. 

Give them a good capacity of mind, and a good 
disposition, make them towardly and tractable, 
and willing to receive instruction ; incline them 
betimes to religion and virtue. Lord, give them 
wisdom and understanding ; and drive out the 
foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. 

Save them from the vanity which childhood 
and youth is subject to, and fit them every way 
to live comfortably and usefully in this world. 
We ask not for great things in this world for them. 
Give them, if it please thee, a strong and health- 
ful constitution of body ; preserve them from all 
ill accidents, and feed them with food conve- 
nient for them. 



4 



^64f A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

But the chief thing we ask of God for them 
is, that thou wilt pour thy Spirit upon our seed, 
even thy blessing, that blessing of blessings upon 
our offspring, that they may be a seed to serve 
thee, which shall be accounted unto the Lord for 
a generation. Give them that good part which 
shall never be taken away from them. 

Give us wisdom and grace to bring them up 
in thy fear, in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord, with meekness and tenderness, and having 
them in objection with all gravity. Teach us 
how to tfmch them the things of God as they are 
able to bear them, and how to reprove and ad- 
monish, and when there is need, to correct them 
in aright manner ; and how to set them good ex- 
amples of every thing that is virtuous and praise- 
worthy, that we may recommend religion to them, 
and so train them up in the way wherein they 
should go, that if they live to be old they may 
not depart from it. 

Keep them from the snare of evil company, 
and all the temptations to which they are ex- 
posed, and make them betimes sensible how much 
it is their interest, as well as their duty, to be re- 
ligious : And, Lord, grant that none that come 
of us may come short of eternal life, or be found 
on the left hand of Christ in the great day.^ 

We earnestly pray that Christ may be formed 
in their souls betimes, and that the seeds of 
grace may be sown in their hearts while they are 
young ; and we may have the satisfaction of see- 
ing them walking in the truth, and setting their 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 2(l5 

Some forms of Prayer. 

faces heaven-wards. Give them now to hear coun- 
sel and receive instruction, that they may be 
wise in their latter end : and if they be wise, our 
hearts shall rejoice, even ours. 

Prosper the means of their education; let our 
children be taught of the Lord, that great may 
be their peace; and give tliem so to know thee 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou 
hast sent, as may be life eternal to them. 

O that they may betimes get wisdom, and get 
understanding, and never forget it. As fer as they 
are taught the truth as it is in Jesus, give them 
to continue in the things which they have learned. 

It is our heart's desire and prayer, that our chil- 
dren may be praising God on earth when we are 
gone to praise him in heaven, and that we and 
they may be together for ever, serving him day 
and night in his temple. 

If it should please God to remove any of them 
from us while they are young, let us have grace 
submissively to resign them to thee, and let us 
have hope in their death. 

If thou remove us from them while they are 
young, be thou thyself a Father to them, to teach 
them and provide for them; for with thee the fa- 
therless findeth mercy. 

Thou knowest our care concerning them, we 
cast it upon thee; ourselves and ours we commit 
to thee. Let not the light of our family-religion 
be put out with us, nor that treasure be buried 
incur graves, but let those that come after us 
do thee more and better service in their day than 

9 li 



S66 A METHOD CHAP. IX, 

Some forms of Prayer. 



we have done in ours, and be unto thee for a 
name and a praise. 

In these prayers we aim at thy glory. Father, 
let thy name be sanctified in our family; there 
let thy kingdom come, and let thy will be done 
by us and ours, as it is done by the angels in 
heaven; for Christ Jesus' sake, our blessed Savi- 
our and Redeemer, whose seed shall endure for 
ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 

Now to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that 
great and sacred name, into which we and our 
childreu^ere baptized, be honour and glory, do- 
minion and praise, henceforth and for ever. 
Amen. 



A Prayer for the use of a particular Person, be- 
fore the receiving of the Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper. 

Most holy, and blessed, and gracious Lord God, 
with all humility and reverence I here present 
myself before thee, to seek thy face and entreat 
thy favour, and, as an evidence of thy good-will 
towards me, to beg that I may experience thy 
good work in me. 

I acknowledge myself unworthy, utterly un- 
W(>rthy ofthe honour; unfit, utterly unfit, for the 
service to which I am now called. It is an ines-, 
tir.able privilege that I am permitted so often 
to hear from thee in thy word, and to speak to 
thee in prayer; and yet, as if this had been a small 
matter, I am now invited into communion with 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 267 

Some forms of Prayer. 

thee at thy holy table, there to celebrate the me- 
morial of my Saviour's death, and to partake by 
faith of the precious benefits which flow from it. 
I, who deserve not the crumbs, am called to eat 
the children's bread. 

O Lord, I thank thee for the institution of this 
blessed ordinance, this precious IcL^acy and token 
of love, which the Lord Jesus left to his church; 
that it is preserved to this age, that it is admin- 
istered in this land, that I am admitted to it, and 
have now before me an opportunity to partake of 
it. Lord, grant that I may not receive thy grace 
herein in vain. 

O thou, who hast called me to the marriage- 
supper of the Lamb, give me the wedding-gar- 
ment; work in me a disposition of soul, and all 
those pious and devout affections which are suit- 
ed to the solemnities of this ordinance, and re- 
quisite to qualify me for an acceptable and ad- 
vantageous participation of it. Behold the fire and 
the wood, all things are now ready; but where is 
the lamb for the burnt-offering ? Lord, provide 
thyself a Lamb, by working in me all that thou 
requirest of me upon this occasion. The pre- 
paration of the heart, and the answer of the 
tongue, are both from thee ; Lord, prepare my un- 
prepared heart for communion with thee. 

Lord, I confess I have sinned against thee, I 
have done foolishly, very foolishly, for foolishness 
is bound up in my heart ; I have sinned, and have 
come short of being glorified with thee. The im- 
agination of my heart is evil continually, and the 



^(jf^ A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 



tv%%%^%</»%%^^^^%^^^%.^»^»^*^»^»^%^*%»^%%< 



bias of my corrupt nature is very strong toward 
the world, and the flesh, and the gratifications 
of sense; but towards God, and Christ, and hea- 
ven, I move slowly, and with a great many stops 
and pauses. Nay, there is in ray carnal mind a 
wretched aversion to divine and spiritual things. 
I have mispent my time, trifled away my oppor- 
tunities, have followed after lying vanities, and 
forsaken my own mercies. God be n^erciful to 
me a sinner ! for how little have I done, since I 
came into the world, of the great work that I 
was sent into the world about ? 

Thou hast taken me into covenant with thee; 
for I am a baptized Christian, set apart for thee, 
and sealed to be thine ; thou hast laid me, and 
I also have laid myself, under all possible obli- 
gations to love thee, and serve thee, and live to 
thee. But I have started aside from thee like a 
deceitful bow : I have not made good my covenant 
with thee, nor hath the temper of my mind, and 
the tenor of my conversation, been agreeable to 
that holy religion which I make profession of, 
to my expectations from thee, and engagements 
to thee. I am bent to backslide from the living 
God, and if I were under the law, I were un- 
done : but I am under grace, a covenant of 
grace which leaves room for repentance, and 
promiseth pardon upon repentance, which invites 
even backsliding children to return, and promises 
that their backsliding shall be healed. Lord, 1 
take hold of this covenant; seal it to me at thy 
table. There let me find my heart truly humbled 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 269 



Some forms of Prayer. 



for sin, and sorrowing for it after a godly sort : 
O that I may there look on him whom I have 
pierced, and mourn, and be in bitterness for him ; 
that there I may sow in tears, and receive a bro- 
ken Christ into a broken heart: and there let the 
blood of Christ, which speaks better things than 
that of Abel, be sprinkled upon my conscience, 
to purify and pacify it. There let me be assured 
that thou art reconciled to me, that my iniquities 
are pardoned, and that I shall not come into 
condemnation. There say unto me, be of good 
cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee. 

And that I may not come unworthily to this 
blessed ordinance, I beseech thee lead me into a 
more intimate and experimental acquaintance 
with Jesus Christ and him crucified; with Jesus 
Christ and him glorified; that knowing him, and 
the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship 
of his sufferings, and being by his grace planted 
in the likeness of both, I may both discern the 
Lord's body, and show forth the Lord's death. 

Lord, I desire, by a true and lively faith, to close 
with Jesus Christ, and consent to him as my Lord 
and ray God. 1 here give up myself to him as 
my Prophet, Priest, and King, to be ruled, and 
taught, and saved by him. This is my beloved, 
and this is my friend. None but Christ, none 
but Christ. Lord, increase this faith in me, per- 
fect what is lacking in it; and enable me, in re- 
ceiving the bread and wine at thy table, by a live- 
ly faith to receive Christ Jesus the Lord. O let 
the great gospel doctrine of Christ's dying to save 



^70 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

sinners, which is represented in that ordinance, 
be meat and drink to my soul, meat indeed, and 
drink indeed. Let it be both nourishing and re- 
freshing to me, let it be both my strength and 
my song, and be the spring both of my holiness 
and my comf )rt. And let such deep impressions 
be made upon my soul, by actual commemoration 
of it, as may always abide upon me, and have a 
powerful influence on me in my whole conver- 
sation; that the life I now live in the flesh may 
be by the faith of* the Son of God, who loved 
me, and gave himself for me. 

Lord, I beseech thee fix my thoughts; let my 
heart be engaged to approach unto thee, that I 
may attend upon thee without distraction. Draw 
out my desires towards thee; give me to hunj^er 
and thirst after righteousness that I may be fill- 
ed; and to draw near to thee with a true heart, 
and in full assurance of faith; and since I am not 
straitened in thee, O let me not be straitened in 
my own bosom. -'^ 

Draw me. Lord, and I will run after thee. O 
send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead 
and guide me; pour thy Spirit upon me, put thy 
Spirit within me, to work in me both to will and 
to do that which is good, and leave me not to 
myself. Awake, O north wind, and come thou 
south, and blow upon my garden; come, O bles- 
sed Spirit of grace, and enlighten my mind 
with the knowledge of Christ ; bow my will to 
the will of Christ; fill my heart with the love of 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 271 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Christ, and confirm my resolutions to live and 
die with him. 

Work in me. I pray thee, a principle of holy 
love and chaiity towards all men, that I may for- 
give my enemies (which by grace I heartily do), 
and may keep up a spiritual communion in faith, 
hope, and holy love, with all that in every place 
call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Lord, 
bless them all, and particularly that congregation 
with which I am to join in this solemn ordinance. 
Good Lord, pardon every one that engageth his 
heart to seek God, the Lord God of their fathers, 
though not cleansed according to the purification 
of the sanctuary. Hear my prayers, and heal 
the people. 

Lord, meet me with a blessing, a father's bless- 
ing at thy table; grace thine own institution with 
thy presence: and fulfil in me ail t! e good plea- 
sure of thy goodness, and the work of faith with 
power, for the sake of Jesus Christ, my blessed 
Saviour and Redeemer. To him, with the Fa- 
ther and the eternal Spirit, be everlasting praises. 
Amen. 

Another, after receiving of the Lord*s Supper. 

O Lord my God, and my Father in Jesus 
Christ, I can never sufficiently admire the con- 
descension of thy grace to me. What is man that 
thou dost thus magnify him, and the son of man 
that thou thus visitest him ? Who am I, and what 
is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ? 



272 A METHOD CHAP. IX. 

Some forms of Prayer. 

Hast brought me into the banqueting-house, 
and thy banner over me hath been love ? I have 
reason to say, That a day in thy courts, an hour 
at thy table, is better, far better than a thousand 
days, than ten thousand hours elsewhere. It is 
good for me to draw near to God. Blessed be 
God for the privileges of his house, and for those 
comforts with which he makes his people joyful 
in his house of prayer. 

But I have reason to blush and be ashamed of 
myself, that I have not been more aft'ected with 
the great things which have been set before me, 
and offered to me at the Lord's table. O what 
a vain, foolish, and trifling heart have I? When 
I would do good, even evil is present with me. 
Good Lord, be merciful to me, and pardon the 
iniquity of my holy things, and let not my many 
defects, in my attendance upon thee, be laid to 
my charge, or hinder my profiting by the ordi- 
nance. 

I have now been commemorating the death of 
Ciirist; Lord, grant that by the power thereof 
sin may be crucified in me, the world crucified 
to me, and I to the world; and enable me so to 
bear about with me continually the dying of the 
Lord Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be 
manifested in my mortal body. 

I have now been receiving the precious bene- 
fits which flow from Christ's death ; Lord, grant 
that I may never lose, never forfeit those bene- 
fits; but as I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, 
give me grace so to walk in him, and to live as 



^ 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 27^ 

Some forms of Prayer. 

one that am not my own, but am bought with a 
price, glorifying God with my body and spirit, 
which are his. 

I have now been renewing my covenant with 
thee, and engaging myself afresh to thee to be 
thine; now, Lord, give me grace to perform my 
vow. Keep it always in the imagination of the 
thought of my heart, and establish my way be- 
fore thee. Lord, preserve me by thy grace, that 
I may never return again to folly. After God hath 
spoken peace, may I never, by my loose and care- 
less walking, undo what I have been doing to-day; 
but having my heart enlarged with the consola- 
tion of God, give me to run the way of thy com- 
mandments with cheerfulness and constancy, and 
still to hold fast my integrity. 

This precious soul of mine, which is the work 
of thine own hands, and the purchase of thy Son's 
blood, I commit into thy hands, to be sanctified by 
thy Spirit and grace, and wrought up into conform- 
ity to thy holy will in every thing. Lord, set up 
thy throne in my heart, write thy law there, shed 
abroad thy love there, and bring every thought 
within me into obedience to thee, to the com- 
manding power of thy law, and the constraining 
power of thy love. Keep through thine own 
name that which I commit unto thee, keep it 
against tliat day when it shall be called for ; let 
me be preserved blameless to the coming of thy 
glory, that 1 then may be presented faultless with 
exceeding icy. 

All my outward affairs 1 submit to the dis- 
9 K k 



£74 A METHOD CHAP. IX, 

Some forms of Prayer. 



t*^***'*^*^^ »%V%%^»^%^%^%^<^%/» »%%^ 



posal of thy wise and gracious providence. Lord, 
save my soul, and then, as to other things, do as 
thou pleasest with me ; only make all providences 
work together for my spiritual and eternal ad- 
vantage. Let all things be pure to me, and give 
me to taste covenant love in common mercies ; 
and by thy grace let me be taught, both how to 
want and how to abound, how to enjoy prosperi- 
ty, and how to bear adversity, as becomes a Chris- 
tian ; and at all times let thy grace be suflScient 
for me, and mighty in me, to work in me both 
to will and to do that which is good of thine own 
good pleasure. 

And that in every thing I may do my duty, 
and stand complete in it, let my heart be enlarged 
in love to Jesus Christ, and aflFected with the 
height and depth, the length and breadth, of that 
love of his to me, which passeth all conception 
and expression. 

And as an evidence of that love, let my mouth 
be filled with his praises. Worthy is the Lamb 
that was slain, to receive blessing, and honour, 
and glory, and power: for he was slain, and hath 
redeemed a chosen remnant unto God by his 
blood, and made them to him kings and priests. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is 
within me bless his holy name, who forgiveth all 
mine iniquities, and healeth all my diseases: who 
redeemeth my life from destruction, and crown- 
eth me with loving-kindness and tender mercy ; 
who hath begun a good work, and will perform 
it unto the day of Christ. As long as I live will 



CHAP. IX. FOR PRAYER. 275 

Some forms of Prayer. 



I bless the Lord ; I will praise my God while I 
have any being; and when I have no being upon 
earth, I hope to have a being in heaven to be do- 
ing it better. O let me be borne up in everlast- 
ing arms, and carried from strength to strength, 
till I appear before God in Zion, for Jesus* sake, 
who died for me, and rose again, in whom I de- 
sire to be found living and dying. Now to God 
the Father, Son, and Spirit, be ascribed kingdom, 
power, and glory, henceforth and forever. Amen. 

An Address to God before Meat. 

O Lord our God, in thee we live, and move, 
and have our being, and from thee receive all 
supports and comforts of our being. Thou spread- 
est our table, and fillest our cup, and comfortest 
us with the gifts of thy bounty from day to day. 
We own our dependence upon thee, and our 
obligations to thee: pardon our sins we pray thee; 
sanctify thy good creatures to our use, and give 
us grace to receive them soberly and thankfully, 
and to eat and drink not to ourselves, but to thy 
glory, through Jesus Christ our blessed Lord and 
Saviour. Amen. 

After Meat. 
Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with 
his benefits, and gives us all things richly to en- 
joy, though we serve him but poorly. O Lord, 
we thank thee for present refreshments in the 
use of thy good creatures, and for thy love to 



276 A METHOD FOR PRAYER. CHAP. IX. 

Hymns. 



t %«^«^«^«^««%«^ 



our souls in Jesus Christ, which sweetens all. We 
pray thee pardon our sins, go on to do us good ; 
provide for the poor that are destitute of daily 
food; fit us for thy whole will, and be our God, 
and guide, and portion for ever, through Jesus 
Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen. 



HYMNS. 

The Heavens, throughout their vast extent, 

Declare their Maker's praise ; 
The glittering starry firmament 

His handy-work displays. 
Day unto day doth celebrate, 

And night to night proclaim, 
Without the help of speech or tongue, 

His universal fame. 
There doth the sun, with joy and strength, 

His constant course complete ; 
The earth rejoiceth in his light, 

And in his quick*ning heat. 
So let the Lord shine on our souls. 

Lighten and warm us thus ; nv/O 3 f 

Prosper, O God, our handy-works, 

And stablish them to us. 



The voice of saving health and joy 

In just men's dwellings is; 
The Lord's right hand works pow'rfully, 

That strong right hand of his. 
I laid me down and sweetly slept. 

And safely wak'd again ; 
Because it was the Lord that kept. 

And did my soul sustain. 
Therefore we wait for thee, O Lord, 

Who still art our defence ; 
In all estates we trust in thee, 

With cheerful confidence. 
Lord, let thy grace on us descend 

Like a refreshing shower; 
For all our hopes and joys depend 

On thine almighty power. 



1 



DIRECTIONS 



FOR 



WITH 



©©2)< 



Jj^tnba imKM n » 



IN THREE DISCOURSES. 



SHOWING , \ . 



HOW TO BEGIN, HOW TO SPEND, 



AND 



HOW TO CLOSE, 
EVERY DAY WITH GOD. 



TO THE READER. 



The two first of these Discourses were preached (that is, 
the substance of them) at the morning lecture at Bethnal 
Green; the former, August IS, the other, August 21, 1712. 
The latter of them I was much importuned to publish by many 
who heard it, which yet I then had no thoughts at all of do- 
ing, because, in divers practical treatises, we have excellent 
directions given of the same nature and tendency by better 
hands than mine. But, upon second thoughts, I considered, 
that both those sermons, of beginning and spending the day 
with God, put together, might perhaps be of some use to 
those into whose hands those larger treatises do not fall. 
And the truth is, the subject of them is of such a nature, 
that if they may be of any use, they may be of general and 
lasting use; whereupon I entertained the thought of writing 
them over, with very large additions throughout, as God 
should enable me, for the Press. Communicating this thought 
to some of my friends, they very much encouraged me t;p. pro- 
ceed in it, but advised me to add a third discourse, of closing 
the day with God, which I thereupon took for my subject at 
an Evening Lecture, Sept. 3. and have now likewise much 
enlarged and altered. And so this came to be what it is. 

I am not without hopes, that something may hereby be 
contributed, among plain people, by the blessing of God upon 
the endeavour, and the working of his grace with it, to the 
promoting of serious godliness, which is the thing I aim at. 
And yet I confess I had not published it, but designing it for 
a present to my dearly beloved friends in the country, whom 
I have lately been rent from. 

And to them, with the most tender a£Fection, and most sin- 
cere respects, I dedicate it, as a testimony of my abiding con- 
cern for their spiritual welfare; hoping and praying, that their 
conversation may be in every thing as becomes the gospel 
of Christ, that whether I come and see them, or else be ab- 
sent, I may hear comfortably of their affairs, that they stand 
fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the 
Faith of the Gospel. I am, their cordial and affectionate 
well-wisher;, 

MATTHEW HENRY. 
Sept. 8, 1712. 



THE 

FIRST DISCOURSE; 

SHOWING 

HOW TO BEGIN EVERY DAY WITH GOD. 



Psalm v. 3. 

My voice shall thou hear in the morning ^ O Lord; in the morn-' 

ing will I direct my Prayer unto thecy and I vnll look up. 

You would think it a rude question if I should 
ask you, and yet I must entreat you seriously to 
ask yourselves, What brings you hither so early 
this morning ? And what is your business here ? 
Whenever we are attending on God in holy or- 
dinances (nay, wherever we are J, we should be 
able to give a good answer to the question which 
God put to the prophet, What dost thou here^ Eli- 
jah ? As when we return from holy ordinances, 
we should be able to give a good answer to the 
question which Christ "^^ut to those that attended 
on John Baptist's ministry. What went you out 
into the wilderness to see F 

It is surprising to see so many got together 
here ; surely the fields are white unto the harvest : 
and I am willing to hope, it is not merely for a 
walk this pleasant morning that you are come hi- 
ther, or for curiosity ; because the morning lecture 
was never here before; that it is not for company, 
or to meet your friends here ; but that you are 
come with a pious design to give glory to God, 
and to receive grace from him, and in both to 



280 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

keep up your communion with him. And if you 
ask us, that are ministers, what our business is, 
we hope we can truly say, it is (as God shall en- 
able us) to assist and further you herein. Comest 
thou peaceably? said the elders of Bethlehem to 
Samuel; and so perhaps you will say to us. To 
which we answer as the prophet did, Peaceably 
we come to sacrifice unto the Lord, and invite 
you to the sacrifice. 

While the lecture continues with you, you 
have an opportunity of more than doubling your 
morning devotions ; besides your worshipping of 
God in secret, and in your families^ which this 
must not supercede, or jostle out, you here call 
upon God's name in the solemn assembly; and it 
is as much your business, in all such exercises, 
to pray a prayer together, as it is to he^a sermon ; 
and it is said, the original of the morning exer- 
cise was a meeting for prayer, at the time when 
the nation was groaning under the dreadful de- 
solating judgment of a civil war. You have also 
an opportunity of conversing with the word of 
God; you have precept upon precept, and line up- 
on line. O that, as the opportunity wakens you 
morning by morning, so (as the prophet speaks) 
your ears may be awakened to hear as the learn- 
ed, Isa. 1. 4. 

But this is not all ; we desire that such im- 
pressions may be made upon you by this cluster 
of opportunities, as you may always abide under 
the influence of; that this morning lecture may 
leave you better disposed to morning worship 



1 



WITH GOD. * 281 

How to begin the day with God. 

ever after; that these frequent acts of devotion 
may so confirm the habit of it, as that from hence- 
forward your daily worship may become more 
easy, and, if I may say so, in a manner natural to 
you. 

For your help herein, I would recommend to 
you holy David's example in the text, who hav- 
ing resolved in general, ver. 2, that he would 
abound in the duty of prayer, and abide by it ; 
Unto thee will I pray, here fixeth one proper time 
for it, and that is the morning : My voice shalt 
thou hear in the morning ; not in the morning 
only. David solemnly addressed himself to the 
duty of prayer three times a-day as Daniel dii} ; 
Morning and evening, and at noon will I pray, 
and cry aloud. Psalm Iv. I7. Nay, he doth not 
think that enough, but seven times a-day will I 
praise thee. Psalm cxix. l64. But particularly 
in the morning. 

Doct. It is our wisdom and duty to begin 
every day with God. 

Let us observe in the Text : 

1. The good work itself that we are to do.— 
God must hear our voice, we must direct our 
prayer to him, and we must look up. 

2. The special time appointed and observed 
for the doing of this good work; and that is in 
the morning, and again in the morning; that is, 
every morning, as duly as the morning comes. 

For the first. The good work, which, by the- 
example of David, we are here taught to do, is, 
in one word, to pray ; a duty dictated by the 

9 L 1 



282 DAILY COMMUNION 

Howr to begJD the day with God. 

light and law of nature, which plainly and loud- 
ly speaks, Should not a people seek unto their 
God ? But which the gospel of Christ gives us 
much better instructions in, and encouragement 
to, than any that nature furnisheth us with ; for 
it tells us what we must pray for, in whose name 
we must pray, and by whose assistance, and in- 
vites us to come boldly to the throne of grace, 
and to enter into the holiest by the blood of Je- 
sus. This work we are to do, not in the morning 
only, but at other times, at all times; we read of 
preaching the word out of season, but we do not 
read of praying out of season, for that is never 
out of season; the throne of grace is always open, 
and humble supplicants are always welcome, and 
cannot come unseasonably. 

But let us see how David here expresseth his 
pious resolution to abide by this duty. 

1. Mtj voice shalt thou hear. Two ways David 
may here be understood. Either, 

(1.) As promising himself a gracious acceptance 
with God, Thou shalt, i. e. thou wilt hear my 
voice, when in the morning I direct my prayer to 
thee : so it is the language of his faith, grounded 
upon God's promise, that his ear shall be always 
open to his people's cry. He had prayed, ver. 1. 
Give ear to my words, O Lord : and, ver. ^, Heark- 
en unto the voice of my cry ; and here he re- 
ceives an answer to that prayer, thou wilt hear ; 
I doubt not but thou wilt, and though I have not 
presently a grant of the thing I prayed for, yet 
I am sure my prayer is heard, is accepted, and 



WITH GOD. fS8 

How to begin ihe day with God. 

comes up for a memorial, as the prayer of Cor- 
nelius did J it is put upon the file, and shall not 
be forgotten. If we look inward, and can say, 
by experience, that God has prepared our heart, 
we may look upward, may look forward, and say 
with confidence that he will cause his ear to hear. 
We may be sure of this, and we must pray, in 
the assurance of it, in a full assurance of his 
faith, that wherever God finds a praying heart, 
he will be found a prayer-hearing God. Though 
the voice of prayer be a low voice, a weak voice, 
yet if it come from an upright heart, it is a voice 
that God will hear, that he will hear with plea- 
sure, it is his delight, and that he will return a 
gracious answer to. He hath heard thy prayers, 
he hath seen thy tears. When therefore we stand 
praying, this ground we must stand upon, this 
principle we must stand to, nothing doubting, no- 
thing wavering, that whatever we ask of God as 
a father, in the name of Jesus Christ the media- 
tor, according to the will of God revealed in the 
scripture, it shall be granted us either in kind or 
kindness. So the promise is, John xvi.23. and the 
truth of it is sealed to by the concurring experi- 
ence of the saints in all ages, ever since men be- 
gan to call upon the name of the Lord, that Ja- 
cob's God never yet said to Jacob's seed, seek 
ye me in vain, and he will not begin now. When 
we come to God by prayer, if we come aright, we 
may be confident of this, that notwithstanding 
the distance between heaven and earth, and our 
great un worthiness to have any notice taken of us, 



^8i DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 



or any favour showed us; yet God doth hear our 
voice, and will not turn away our prayer, or his 
mercy. Or, 

f^.) It is rather to be taken, as David's promis- 
ing God a constant attendance on him in the way 
he has appointed. My voice shalt thou hear, i.e. 
I will speak to thee, because thou hast inclined 
thine ear unto me many a time, therefore I have 
taken up a resolution to call upon thee at all 
times, even to the end of my time. Not a day 
shall pass but thou shalt be sure to hear from me. 
Not that the voice is the thing that God regards, 
as they seemed to think who in prayer made their 
voice to be heard on high, Isa. Iviii. 4. Hannah 
prayed and prevailed, when her voice was not 
heard; but it is the voice of the heart that is here 
meant. God saith to Moses, wherefore criest thou 
unto me, when we do not find that he said one 
word, Exod. xiv. 15. Praying is lifting the soul up 
to God, and pouring out the heart before him ; yet, 
as far as the expression of the devout affections 
of the heart by words may be of use to fix the 
thoughts, and to excite and quicken the desires, 
it is good to draw near to God, not only with a 
pure heart, but with a humble voice; so must 
we render the calves of our lips. 

However, God understands the language of 
the heart, and that is the language in which we 
must speak to God. David prays here, ver. 1. not 
only give ear to my words, but consider my me- 
ditation; and, Psalm xix. 14. Let the words of 



WITH GOD. 285 

How to begin the day with God. 

my mouth, proceeding from the meditation of my 
heart, be acceptable in thy sight. 

This therefore we have to do in every prayer, 
we must speak to God; we must write to him ; 
we say we hear from a friend whom we receive a 
letter from ; we must see to it that God hears from 
us daily. 

1. He accepts and requires it. Though he has 
no need of us or our services, nor can be benefit- 
ed by them, yet he has obliged us to offer the 
sacrifice of prayer and praise to him continually. 

(1.) Thus he will keep up his authority over 
us, and keep us continually in mind of our sub- 
jection to him, which we are apt to forget. He 
requires that by prayer we solemnly pay our hom- 
age to him, and give honour to his name, that by 
this act and deed of our own, thus frequently re- 
peated, we may strengthen the obligations we 
lie under to observe his statutes and keep his laws, 
and be more and more sensible of the weight tJff 
them. He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, 
that by frequent humble adorations of his perfec- 
tions, thou mayest make a constant humble com- 
pliance with his will the more easy to thee. By 
doing obeisance we are learning obedience. 

(2.) Thus he will testify his love and compas- 
sion towards us. It would have been an abun- 
dant evidence of his concern for us, and his good- 
ness to us, if he had only said, let me hear from 
you as often as there is occasion ; call upon me in 
the time of trouble or want, and that is enough j 



286 DAILY COMMUNION. 

How to begin the day with God. 

but to show his complacency in us, as a father 
doth his affection to his child when he is sending 
him abroad, he gives us this charge, let me hear 
from you every day, by every post, though we 
have no particular business ; which shows, that 
the prayer of the upright is his delight; it is mu- 
sic in his ears. Christ saith to his dove, let me 
see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for 
sweet is thy voice, and thy^countenance is comely. 
Cant. ii. 14. And it is to the spouse, the church, 
that Christ speaks in the close of that Song of 
Songs, O thou that dwellest in the garden, (in 
the original it is feminine) the companions heark- 
en to thy voice, cause me to hear it. What a 
shame is this to us, that God is more willing to 
be prayed to, and more ready to hear prayer, 
than we are to pray. 

2. We have something to say to God every 
day. Many are not sensible of this, and it is their 
sin and misery ; they live without God in the 
world, they think they can live without him, are 
not sensible of their dependence upon him, and 
their obligations to him ; and therefore, for their 
parts, they have nothing to say to him ; he never 
hears from them, no more than the father did 
from his prodigal son when he was upon the ram- 
ble, from one week's end to another. They ask 
scornfully, What can the Almighty do for them ? 
And then no marvel if they ask next, what profit 
shall we have if we pray unto him ? And the 
result is, they say to the Almighty, Depart from 
us; and so shall their doom be. But I hope better 



t 



WITH GOD. 287 

How to begin the day with God. 

things of you, my brethren, and that you are not 
of those who cast off fear, and restrain prayer be- 
fore God; you are all ready to own that there is 
a great deal that the Almighty can do for you, 
and that there is profit in praying to him, and 
therefore resolve to draw near to God, that he 
may draw nigh to you. 

We have something to say to God daily. 

(1») As to a friend we love and have freedom 
with; such a friend we cannot go by without call- 
ing on, and never want something to say to, 
though we have no particular business with him; 
to such a friend we unbosom ourselves, we pro- 
fess our love and esteem, and with pleasure com- 
municate our thoughts. Abraham is called the 
friend of God, and this honour have all the saints. 
I have not called you servants (saith Christ), but 
friends. His secret is with the righteous. . We are 
invited to acquaint ourselves with him, and to 
walk with him as one friend walks with another. 
The fellowship of believers is said to be with the 
Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And have 
we nothing to say to him then ? 

Is it not errand enough to the throne of his 
grace to admire his infinite perfections, which we 
can never fully comprehend, and yet never suffi- 
ciently contemplate, and take complacency in ? 
To please ourselves in beholding the beauty of 
the Lord, and giving him the glory due to his 
name ? Have we not a great deal to say to him 
in acknowledgment of his conc^escending grace 
and favour to us, in manifesting himself to us, 



288 DAILY COMMUNION. 

>,«^^%^««%« »«.'**^*^XWW». k««<k%«'V«X'%««^^ ^'^'^«V«V«%.'%^^%/«>.'« WV«'V«%«V«W%/«V«%^V« 

How to begin the day with God. 

and not to the world ; and in profession of our 
affection and submission to him. Lord, thou know- 
est all things, thou knowest that I love thee. 

God hath something to say to us as a friend 
every day, by the written word, in which we 
must hear his voice j by his providences, and by 
our own consciences, and he hearkens and hears 
whether we have any thing to say to him by way 
of reply, and we are very unfriendly if we have 
not. When he saith to us. Seek ye my face ; 
should not our hearts answer as to one we love, 
Thy face. Lord, will we seek ? When he saith to 
us. Return, ye backsliding children ; should not 
we readily reply. Behold, we come unto thee, for 
thou art the Lord our God ? If he speak to us 
by way of conviction and reproof; ought not we 
to return an answer by way of confession and 
submission ? If he speak to us by way of com- 
fort; ought we not to reply in praise ? If you 
love God, you can be at no loss for something to 
say to him, something for your hearts to pour out 
before him, which his grace has already put 
there. 

(2.) As to a master we servte^and have busi- 
ness with. Think how numerous and important 
the concerns are that lie between us and God, 
and you will readily acknowledge that you have 
a great deal to say to him. We have a constant 
dependence upon him ; all our expectation is 
from him: we have constant dealings with him; 
he is the God with whom we have to do, Heb. 
iv. 18. 



I 



WITH GOD. 289 

How to begin the day with God, 

Do we not know that our happiness is bound 
up in his favour? It 13. life, the life of our souls; 
it is better than life, than the life of our bodies. 
And have we not business with God, to seek his 
favour, to entreat it with our whole hearts, to 
beg as for our lives that he would lift up the light 
of his countenance upon us, and to plead Christ's 
righteousness, as that ojily through which we can 
hope to obtain God's loving kindness. 

Do we not know that we have offended God, 
that by sin we have made ourselves obnoxious to 
his wrath and curse, and that we are daily con- 
tracting guilt? And have we not then business 
enough with him to confess our faults and folly, 
to ask for pardon in the blood of Christ, and in 
him, who is our peace, to make our peace with 
God, and renew our covenant with him in his 
own strength, to go and sin no more ? 

Do we not know that we have daily work to 
do for God, and our own souls, the work of the 
day that is to be done in its day ? And have we 
not then business with God, to beg of him to show 
us what he would have us to do, direct us in it, 
and strengthen us for it ? To seek to him for 
assistance and acceptance, that he will work in us 
both to will and to do that which is good, and 
then countenance and own his own work ? Such 
business as this the servant has with his master. 

Do we not know that we are continually in 
danger? Our lives, our bodies, and our comforts 
are so ; we are continually surrounded with dis- 
eases and deaths, whose arrows fly at midnight 

10 ivr m 



290 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

and at noon-day. And have we not then business 
with God, going out and coming in, lying down 
and rising up, to put ourselves under the protec- 
tion of his providence, to be the charge of his 
holy angels ? Our souls much more are so, and 
their lives and comforts; it is those our adversary 
the devil, a strong and subtle adversary, wars 
against, and seeks to devour: and have we not 
then business with God, to put ourselves under 
the protection of his grace, and clothe ourselves 
with his armour, that we may be able to stand 
against the wiles and violence of Satan, so as we 
may neither be surprised into sin by a sudden 
temptation, nor overpowered by a strong one ? 

Do we not know that we are dying daily, that 
death is working in us, and hastening towards us, 
and that death fetches us to judgment, and judg- 
ment fixeth us in our everlasting state ? And 
have we not then something to say to God in pre- 
paration for what is before us? Shall we not 
say. Lord, make us to know our end ! Lord, teach 
us to number our days ! Have we not business 
with God, to judge ourselves, that we may not be 
judged, and to see that our matters be right and 
good? 

Do we not know that we are members of that 
body whereof Christ is the head ; and are we not 
concerned to approve ourselves living members? 
Have we not then business with God upon the 
public account, to make intercession for his church? 
Have we nothing to say for Zion ? Nothing in 
behalf of Jerusalem's ruined walls? Nothing for 



I 



WITH GOD. 291 

How to begin the day with God. 

the peace and welfare of the land of our nativity? 
Are we not of the family, or but babes in it, that 
we concern not ourselves in the concerns of itf 

Have we no relations, no friends that are dear 
to us, whose joys and griefs we share in? And 
have we nothing to say to God for them? No 
complaints to make, no requests to make known? 
Are none of them sick or in distress ? None of 
them tempted or disconsolate? And have we 
not errands to the throne of grace, to beg relief 
and succour for them ? 

Now lay all this together, and then consider 
whether you have not something to say to God 
every day ; and particularly in days of trouble, 
when it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne 
chastisement; and when, if you have any sens^v 
of things, you will say unto God, Do not qrfr- 
demn me. 

3. If you have all this to say to God, what 
should hinder you from saying it ? From saying 
it every day? Why should not he hear your 
voice, when you have so many errands to him. 

1. Let no distance hinder you from saying 
it. You have occasion to speak with a friend, 
but he is a great way off, you cannot reach him, 
you know not where to find him, nor how to 
get a letter to him, and therefore your business 
with him is undone; but this needs not keep you 
from speaking to God ; for though it is true God 
is in heaven, and we are upon earth, yet he is 
nigh to his praying people in all that they call 
upon him for; he hears their voice wherever 



292 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 



k«^W«^%%%%XI««<%V^«<^ 1 



>^^v%^^^/»%^^^^/»%^^%v»v^^^ 



they are. Out of the depths I have cried unto 
thee, saith David, Psalm cxxx. 1 . From the ends 
of the earth 1 will cry unto thee, Psalm Ixi. 2. 
Nay, Jonah saith, Out of the belly of hell cried 
I, and thou heardest ray voice. In all places 
we may find a way open heavenward ; Undique 
ad Ccelos tantunden est Vice ; thanks to him who 
by his own blood has consecrated for us a new 
and living way into the holiest, and settled a 
correspondence between heaven and earth. 

2. Let not fear hinder you from saying what 
you have to say to God. You have business with 
a great man, it may be, but he is so far above 
you, or so stern and severe towards all his infe- 
riors, that you are afraid to speak to him, and 
you have none to introduce you, or speak a good 
word for you, and therefore you choose rather to 
drop your cause ; but there is no occasion for 
your being thus discouraged in speaking to God ; 
you may come boldly to the throne of his grace, 
you have there a parrhesia, a liberty of speech^ 
leave to pour out your whole souls. And such 
are his compassions to humble supplicants, that 
even his terror need not make them afraid. It is 
against the mind of God that you should frighten 
yourselves, he would have you encourage your- 
selves, for you have not received the spirit of 
bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption, 
by which you are brought into this among the 
other glorious liberties of the children of God. 
Nor is this all, we have one to introduce us, and 
to speak for us, an advocate with the Father. 



WITH GOD. 293 

How to begin the day with God. 



I «««/%«««% «^%^ «/v«/«%^«%«^«^' 



Did ever children need an advocate with a father? 
But that by those two immutable things, in which 
it is impossible for God to lie, we might have 
strong consolation ; we have not only the rela- 
tion of a father to depend upon, but the interest 
and intercession of an advocate; a high Priest 
over the house of God, in whose name we have 
access with confidence. 

3. Let not his knowing what your business is, 
and what you have to say to him, hinder you; 
you have business with such a friend, but you 
think you need not put yourselves to any trouble 
about it, for he is already apprized of it; he 
knows what you want and what you desire, and 
therefore it is no matter for speaking to him. It 
is true all you desire is before God ; he knows 
your wants and burthens, but he will know them 
from you; he hath promised you relief, but his 
promise must be put in suit, and he will for this 
be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for 
them, Ezek. xxxvi. 37. Though we cannot by 
our prayers give him any information, yet we 
must by our prayers give him honour. It is true, 
nothing we can say can have any influence upon 
him, or move him to show us mercy; but it may 
have an influence upon ourselves, and help to 
put us into a frame fit to receive mercy. It is a 
very easy and reasonable condition of his favours. 
Ask, and it shall be given you. It was to teach 
us the necessity of praying, in order to our re- 
ceiving favour, that Christ put that strange 
question to the blind men. What would ye that 



294 DAILY COMMUNION. 

How to begin the day with God. 

I should do unto you ? He knew what they 
would have, but those that touch the top of the 
gospel sceptre must be ready to tell, What is 
their petition, and what is their request ? 

4. Let not any other business hinder our say- 
ing what we have to say to God. We have busi- 
ness with a friend, perhaps, but we cannot do it, 
because we have not leisure ; we have something 
else to do, which we think more needful; but we 
cannot say so concerning the business we have 
to do with God ; for that is without doubt the 
one thing needful, to which every thing else 
must be made to truckle and give way. It is 
not at all necessary to our happiness that we 
be great in the world, or raise estates to such a 
pitch. But it is absolutely necessary that we 
make our peace with God, that we obtain his 
favour, and keep ourselves in his love. There- 
fore no business for the world will serve to ex- 
cuse our attendance upon God; but, on the con- 
trary, the more important our worldly business 
is, the more need we have to apply ourselves to 
God by prayer for his blessing upon it, and so 
take him along with us in it. The closer we 
keep to prayer, and to God in prayer, the more 
will all our affairs prosper. 

Shall I prevail with you now to let God fre- 
quently hear from you ; let him hear your voice, 
though it be but the voice of your breathing, 
fLam. iii. 56.) that is a sign of life ; though it be 
the voice of your groanings, and those so weak 
that they cannot be uttered. Romans viii. 26- 



WITH GOD. 295 

How to begin the day with God. 

Speak to him though it be in broken language, 
as Hezekiah did ; Like a crane or a swallow so 
did I chatter t Isa. xxxviii, 14. Speak often to 
him, he is always within hearing. Hear him 
speaking to you, and have an eye to that in 
every thing you say to him ; as when you write 
an answer to a letter of business, you lay it be- 
fore you ; God's word must be the guide of your 
desires, and the ground of your expectations in 
prayer; nor can you expect he should give a gra- 
cious ear to what you say to him, if you turn a 
deaf ear to what he saith to you. 

You see you have frequent occasions to speak 
with God, and therefore are concerned to grow 
in your acquaintance with him, to take heed of 
doing any thing to displease him, and to strength- 
en your interest in the Lord Jesus, through 
whom alone it is that you have access with bold- 
ness to him. Keep your voice in tune for prayer, 
and let all your language be a pure language, 
that you may be fit to call on the name of the 
Lord, Zeph. iii. 9. And in every prayer remem- 
ber you are speaking to God, and make it to ap- 
pear you have an awe of him upon your spirits. 
Let us not be rash with our mouth, nor hasty to 
utter any thing before God, but let every word 
be well weighed, because God is in heaven, and 
we upon earth, Eccl. v. 2. And if he had not 
invited and encouraged us to do it, it had been 
unpardonable presumption for such sinful worms 
as we are to speak to the Lord of Glory, Gen. 
xviii. 27. And we are concerned to speak from 



296 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

the heart, heartily ; for it is for. our lives, and 
for the lives of our souls, that we are speaking 
to him. 

2. We must direct our prayer unto God. He 
must not only hear our voice, but we must with 
deliberation and design address ourselves to him. 
In the original, it is no more but I will direct 
unto thee; it might be supplied, I will direct my 
soul unto thee, agreeing with Psalm xxv. 1. Un* 
to thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Or, I will 
direct my affections to thee; having set my love 
upon thee, I will let out my love to thee. Our 
translation supplies it very well, I will direct my 
prayer unto thee. That is, 

1. When I pray to thee, I will direct my pray- 
ers; and then it notes a fixedness of thought, 
and a close application of mind, to the duty of 
prayer. We must go about it solemnly, as those 
that have something of moment much at heart, 
and much in view therein, and therefore dare 
not trifle in it. When we go to pray, we must 
not give the sacrifice of fools, that think not either 
what is to be done, or what is to be gained, but 
speak the words of the wise, who aim at some 
good end in what they say, and suit it to that 
end ; we must have in our eye God's glory, and 
our own true happiness ; and so well ordered is 
the covenant of grace, that God has been pleased 
therein to twist interests with us ; so that in 
seeking his glory, we really and effectually seek 
our own true interest. This is directing the 
prayer, as he that shoots an arrow at a mark 
directs it, and with a fixed eye and steady hand 



1 



WITH GOD. 297 

How to begin the day with God. 

takes aim aright. This is engaging the heart to 
approach to God, and in order to that, disenga- 
ging it from every thing else. He that takes aim 
with one eye, shuts the other; if we would direct 
a prayer to God, we must look oif all other things, 
must gather in our wandering thoughts, must 
summon them all to draw near and give their at- 
tendance; for here is work to be done that needs 
them all, and is well worthy of them. Thus we 
must be able to say with the Psalmist, O God, 
my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed. 
' 2. When I direct my prayer, I will direct it to 
thee. And so it speaks, 

1. The sincerity of our habitual intention in 
prayer. We must not direct our prayer to men, 
that we may gain praise and applause with them, 
as the Pharisees did, who proclaimed their de- 
votions as they did their alms, that they might 
gain a reputation, which they knew how to make 
a hand of. Verily they have their reward; men 
commend them, but God abhors their pride and 
hypocrisy. We must not let our prayers run at 
large, as they did that said. Who will show us any 
good ? Nor direct them to the world, courting 
its smiles, and pursuing its wealth, as those that 
are therefore said not to cry unto God with their 
hearts, because they assembled themselves for 
corn and wine, Hos. vii. 14. Let not self, carnal 
self, be the spring and centre of your prayers, but 
God; let the eye of the soul be fixed upon him 
as your highest end in your applications to him; 
let this be the liabitual disposition of your souls, 
10 N n 



.^^ 



S08 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God, 

to be to your God for a name and a praise; and 
let this be your design in all your desires, that 
God may be glorified, and by this let them all be 
directed, determined, sanctified, and, when need 
is, over-ruled. Our Saviour hath plainly taught 
us this in the first petition of the Lord's prayer, 
which is. Hallowed be thy name. In that we fix 
our end, and other things are desired in order to 
that ; in that the prayer is directed to the glory 
of God, in all that whereby he has made himself 
known, the glory of his holiness: and it is with 
an eye to the sanctifying of his name, that we 
desire his kingdom may come, and his will be 
done, and that we may be fed, and kept, and 
pardoned. An habitual aim at God's glory is 
that sincerity which is our gospel perfection. 
That single eye, which, where it is, the whole 
body, the whole soul, is full of light. Thus the 
prayer is directed to God. 

2. It speaks the steadiness of our actual regard 
to God in prayer. We must direct our prayer 
to God; that is, we must continually think of him 
as one with whom we have to do in prayer. We 
must direct our prayer, as we direct our speech 
to the person we have business with. The Bible 
is a letter God hath sent to us; prayer is a letter 
we send to him; now you know it is essential to 
a letter that it be directed, and material that it 
be directed right ; if it be not, it is in danger of 
miscarrying, which may be of ill consequence; 
you pray daily, and therein send letters to God: 
you know not what you lose if your letters mis- 



WITH COD. 299 

How to begin the day with God. 



carry; will you therefore take instructions how 
to direct to him ? 

1. Give him his titles, as you do when you di- 
rect to a person of honour; address yourselves to 
him as the great Jehovah, God over all, blessed 
for evermore; the King of kings, and the Lord of 
lords; as the Lord God, gracious and merciful; 
let your hearts and mouths be filled with holy 
adorings and admirings of him, and fasten upon 
those titles of his, which are proper to strike an 
holy awe of him upon your minds, that you may 
worship him with reverence and godly fear. Di- 
rect your prayer to him as the God of glory, with 
whom is terrible majesty, and whose greatness is 
unsearchable, that you may not dare to trifle with 
him, or to mock him in what you say to him. • • 

2. Take notice of your relation to him, as his 
children, and let not that be overlooked and lost 
in your awful adoration of his glories. I have 
been told of a good man, among whose experien- 
ces, (which he kept a record of), after his death, 
this among other things was found: that at such 
a time, in secret prayer, his heart at the beginning 
of the duty was much enlarged in giving to God 
those titles which are awful and tremendous, in 
calling him the Great, the Mighty, and the Ter- 
rible God; but going on thus, he checked him- 
self with this thought. And why not my Father ? 
Christ hath, both by his precept and by his pat- 
tern taught us to address ourselves to God as 
Our Father; and the spirit of adoption teacheth 
us to cry Abba Father. A son, though a prodi- 
gal, when he returns and repents, may go to his 



SOO DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 



Father, and say unto him, Father, I have sinned; 
and though no more worthy to be called a Son, 
yet humbly bold to call him Father. When 
Ephraim bemoans himself as a bullock unaccus- 
tomed to the yoke, God bemoans him as a dear 
son, a pleasant child, Jer. xxxL 18, ^0; and if 
God is not ashamed, let us not be afraid to own 
the relation. 

8. Direct your prayer to him in heaven; this 
our Saviour has taught us in the preface to the 
Lord's prayer. Our Father which art in heaven. 
Not that he is confined to the heavens, or as if 
the heaven, or heaven of heavens, could contain 
him, but there he is said to have prepared his 
throne, not only his throne of government, by 
which his kingdom ruleth over all, but his throne 
of grace, to which we must by faith draw near. 
We must eye him as God in heaven, in opposi- 
tion to the gods of the heathen, which dwelt in 
temples made with hands. Heaven is a high 
place, and we must address ourselves to him as a 
God infinitely above us. It is the fountain of light, 
and to him we must address ourselves as the Fa- 
ther of lights. It is a place of prospect, and we 
must see his eye upon us, from thence beholding 
all the children of men. It is a place of purity, 
and we must in prayer eye him as a holy God, 
and give thanks at the remembrance of his holi- 
ness. It is the firmament of his power, and we 
must depend upon him as one to whom power 
belongs. When our Lord Jesus prayed, he lift 
up his eyes to heaven, to direct us whence to 
expect the blessings we need. 



WITH GOD. 301 

How to begin the day with God. 



4. Direct this letter to be left with the Lord 
Jesus, the only Mediator between God and man; 
it will certainly miscarry if it be not put into his 
hand, who is that other angel that puts much in- 
cense to the prayers of the saints, and, so per- 
fumed, presents them to the Father, Rey. viii. 3. 
What we ask of the Father must be in his name; 
what we expect from the Father must be by his 
hand ; for he is the High Priest of our profession, 
that is ordained for men to offer their gifts, Heb. 
V. 1. Direct the letter to be left with him, and he 
will deliver it with care and speed, and will make 
our service acceptable. Mr. George Herbert, 
in his Poem called the Bag, having pathetically 
described the wound in Christ's side as he was 
banging upon the cross, makes him speak thus 
to all believers as he was going to heaven. 

If you have any thing to send or write, 

I have no bag, but here is room ; 
Unto my Father's hands and sight, 

Believe me, it shall safely come ; 
That I shall mind what you impart, 
Look, you may put it very near my heart. 

Or if hereafter any of my friends 
Will use me in this kind, the door 

Shall still be open ; what he sends 
I will present, and something more, 

Not to his hurt ; sighs will convey 

Any thing to me 5 hark I despair, away ! 

.3. We must look up ; that is, 

1. We must look up in our prayers, as those 
that speak to one above us, infinitely above us, 
the high and holy One that inhabiteth eternity. 



302 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

as those that expect every good and perfect gift 
to come from above, from the Father of lights ; 
as those that desire in prayer to enter into the 
holiest, and to draw near with a true heart. 
With an eye of faith we must look above the 
world and every thing in it, must look beyond 
the things of lime. What is this world, and all 
things here below, to one that knows how to put 
a due estimate upon spiritual blessings in heavenly 
things by Jesus Christ? The spirit of a man at 
death goes upward, Eccl. iii. 21; for it returns 
to God who gave it, and therefore is mindful of 
its original; it must in every prayer look upwards 
towards its God, towards its home, as having set 
its affections on things above, wherein it has laid 
up its treasure. Let us therefore in prayer lift 
up our hearts with our hands unto God in the 
heavens, Lam. iii. 14*. It was anciently usual 
in some churches for the minister to stir up the 
people to pray with this word, Sursum Corda, 
up with your hearts ; unto thee, O Lord, do we 
lift up our souls. 

2. We must look up after our prayers. 

1. With an eye of satisfaction and pleasure. 
Looking up is a sign of cheerfulness, as a down 
look is a melancholy one. We must look up, as 
those, that having by prayer referred ourselves to 
God, are easy and well pleased, and with an en- 
tire confidence in his wisdom and goodness, pa- 
tiently expect the issue. Hannah, when she had 
prayed, looked up, looked pleasant; she went her 
way and did eat, and her countenance was no 
more sad, 1 Sam. i. 18. Prayer is heart's ease 



WITH GOD. 303 

How to begin the day with God. 

to a good Christian ; and when we have prayed, 
we should look up, as those that through grace 
have found it so. 

2, With an eye of observation, what returns 
God makes to our prayers. We must look up, as 
one that has shot an arrow looks after it, to see 
how near it comes to the mark ; we must look 
within us, and observe what the frame of our 
spirit is after we have been at prayer, how well 
satisfied they are in the will of God, and how 
well disposed to accommodate themselves to it; we 
must look about us, and observe how providence 
works concerning us, that if our prayers be an- 
swered, we may return to give thanks; if not, 
we may remove what hinders, and may continue 
waiting. Thus we must set ourselves upon our 
watch-tower to see what God will say unto us, 
Heb. ii. 1. and must be ready to hear it. Psalm 
Ixxxv. 8. expecting that God will give us an 
answer of peace, and resolving that we will re- 
turn no more to folly. Thus must we keep up 
our communion with God ; hoping, that when- 
ever we lift up our hearts unto him, he will lift 
up the light of his countenance upon us. Some- 
times the answer is quick : while they are yet 
speaking 1 will hear ; quicker than the return of 
any of your posts ; but if it be not, when we 
have prayed, we must wait. 

Let us learn thus to direct our prayers, and 
thus to look up; to be inward with God in every 
duty, to make heart-work of it, or we make no- 
thing of it. Let us not worship in the outward 



S04» DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

court, when we are commanded and encouraged 
to enter within the vaiL 

For the Second. The particular time, fixed in 
the text for this good work, is the morning ; and 
the Psalmist seems to lay an emphasis upon this, 
in the morning, and again in the morning; not 
then only, but then to begin with : Let that be 
one of the hours of prayer. Under the law we 
find that every morning there was a Lamb offer- 
ed in sacrifice, Exod. xxix.39 ; and every morn- 
ing the Priest burned incense, Exod. xxx. 7; 
and the singers stood every morning to thank 
the Lord, 1 Chron. xxiii. 10. And so it was ap- 
pointed in Ezekiel's temple, Ezek. xlvi. 13, 14, 
15. By which an intimation was plainly given, 
that the spiritual sacrifices should be offered by 
the spiritual priests every morning, as duly as 
the morning comes. Every Christian should 
pray in secret ; and every master of a family, 
with his family, morning by morning : and there 
is good reason for it. 

1. The morning is the first part of the day, 
and it is fit that he that is the first should have 
the first, and the first served. The Heathen 
could say, A Jove Principium ; whatever you do, 
begin with God. The world had its beginning 
from him, we had ours \ and therefore whatever 
we begin, it concerns us to take him along with 
us in it. The days of our life, as soon as ever 
the sun of reason riseth in the soul, should be 
devoted to God, and employed in his service ; 
from the w^omb of the morning let Christ have 
the diew of thy youth, Psalm ex. S. The first- 



WITH GOD. 305 

How to begin the day with God. 



lings of the flock. By morning and evening 
prayer we give glory to him, who is the Alpha 
and the Omega, the first and the last ; with him 
we must begin and end the day, begin and end 
the night, who is the beginning and the end, the 
first cause, and the last end. 

AVisdom hath said. Those that seek me early 
shall find me ; early in their lives, early in the 
day ; for hereby we give to God that which he 
ought to have, the preference above other things. 
Hereby we show that we are in care to please 
him, and to approve ourselves to him, and that 
we seek him diligently. What we do earnestly, 
we are said in scripture to do early, (as Psal. ci. 
8.) Industrious men rise betimes; David express- 
eth the strength and warmth of his devotion, 
when he saith, O God, thou art my God, early 
will I seek thee. Psalm Ixiii. 1. 

2. In the morning we are fresh and lively, and 
in the best frame. When our spirits are revived 
with the rest and sleep of the night, we live a 
kind of new life, and the fatigues of the day 
before are forgotten. The God of Israel neither 
slumbers nor sleeps, yet, when he exerts himself 
more than ordinary on his people's behalf, he is 
said to awake as one out of sleep. Psalm Ixxviii. 
65. If ever we be good for any thing, it is in 
the morning; it is therefore become a Proverb, 
Aurora Musis Arnica ; and if the morning be a 
friend to the muses, I am sure it is no less so to the 
graces. As he that is first should have the first; 
so he that is best should have the best; and then, 

10 



306 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God< 

when we are fittest for business, we should ap- 
ply ourselves to that which is the most needful 
business. 

Worshipping God is work that requires the 
best powers of the soul, and when they are at the 
best; and it well deserves them. How can they 
be better bestowed, or turned to a better ac- 
count ? Let all that is within me bless his holy 
name, saith David j and all is little enough. If 
there be any gift in us by which God may be 
honoured, the morning is the most proper time 
to stir it up (^ Tim. i, 6.), when our spirits are 
refreshed, and have gained new vigour ; then 
awake my glory, awake psaltery and harp, for I 
myself will awake early. Psalm Ivii. 8. Then let 
us stir up ourselves to take hold on God. 

3. In the morning we are most free from com- 
pany and business, and ordinarily have the best 
opportunity for solitude and retirement, unless 
we be of those sluggards that lie in bed, with yet 
a little sleep, a little slumber, until the work of 
their calling calls them up, with how long wilt 
thou sleep, O sluggard? It is the wisdom of those 
that have much to do in the world, that have 
scarcely a minute to themselves all day, to take 
time in the morning, before business crowds in 
upon them, for the business of their religion, that 
they may be entire for it, and therefore the more 
intent upon it. 

As we are concerned to worship God then 
when we are least burthened with deadness and 
dulness within, so also when we are least exposed 



f 



WITH GOD. 307 

How to begin the day with God. 

to distraction and diversion from without ; the 
apostle intimates how much it should be our care 
to attend upon the Lord without distraction, 1 
Cor. vii. 35. And therefore that one day in seven, 
(and it is the first day too, the morning of the 
week) which is appointed for holy work, is ap- 
pointed to be a day of rest from other work. 
Abraham leaves all at the bottom of the hill when 
he goes up into the mount to worship God. In 
the morning, therefore, let us converse with God, 
and apply ourselves to the concerns of the other 
life, before we are entangled in the affairs of this 
life. Our Lord Jesus has set us an example of 
this, who, because his day was wholly filled up 
with public business for God and the souls of men, 
rose up in the morning a great while before day, 
and before company came in, and went out into 
a solitary place, and there prayed, Mark i. 35, 

4f, In the morning we have received fresh mer- 
cies from God, which we are concerned to ac- 
knowledge with thankfulness to his praise. He 
is continually doing us good, and loading us with 
his benefits. Every day we have reason to bless 
him, for every day he is blessing us ; in the morn- 
ing particularly; and therefore as he is giving out 
to us the fruits of his favour, which are said to be 
new every morning, Lam. iii. 23. because though 
the same that we had the morning before, they 
are still forfeited, and still needed, and upon 
that account may be called still new : so we should 
be still returning the expressions of our gratitude 
to him, and oi' other pious and devout affections, 



308 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

which, like the fire on the altar, must be new 
every morning. Lev. vi. 12. 

Have we had a good night, and have we not 
an errand to the throne of grace to return thanks 
for it ? How many mercies concurred to make 
it a good night I Distinguishing mercies grant- 
ed to us, but denied to others ; many have not 
where to lay their heads; our Master himself had 
not; the foxes have holes, and the birds of the 
air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where 
to lay his head; but we have houses to dwell in, 
quiet and peaceful habitations, perhaps stately 
ones: We have beds to lie on, warm and easy 
ones, perhaps beds of ivory, fine ones, such as 
they stretched themselves upon that were at ease 
in Zion ; and are not put to wander in deserts 
and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth, 
as some of the best of God's saints have been 
forced to do, of whom the world was not worthy. 
Many have beds to lie on, yet dare not, or can- 
not lie down in them, being kept up either by 
the sickness of their friends, or the fear of their 
enemies. But we have laid us down, and there 
has been none to make us afraid; no alarms of the 
sword, either of war or persecution. Many lay 
them down and cannot sleep, but are full of toss- 
ings to and fro until the dawning of the day, 
through pain of body or anguish of mind. Wea* 
risome nights are appointed to them, and their 
eyes are held waking; but we have laid us down 
and slept without any disturbance, and our sleep 
was sweet and refreshing, the pleasing parenthe- 



WITH GOD. 309 

How to begin the day with God. 

sis of our cares and toils; it is God that has given 
us sleep, has given it us as he gives it to his be- 
loved. Many lay them down and sleep, and ne- 
ver rise again ; they sleep the sleep of death, and 
their beds are their graves; but we have slept and 
waked again, have rested, and are refreshed; we 
shake ourselves, and it is with us as at other times; 
because the Lord hath sustained us; and if he had 
not upheld us, we had sunk with our own weight 
when we fell asleep, Psalm iii. 5. 

Have we a pleasant morning ? Is the light 
sweet to us, the light of the sun, the light of the 
eyes, do these rejoice the heart? and ought we 
not to own our obligations to him who opens our 
eyes, and opens the eyelids of the morning upon 
us ? Have we clothes to put on in the morning, 
garments that are warm upon us. Job xxxvii. 17- 
Change of raiment, not for necessity only, but for 
ornament? We have them from God ; it is his 
wool and his flax that are given to cover our na- 
kedness ; and the morning, when we dress our- 
selves, is the proper time of returning him thanks 
for it ; yet I doubt we do it not so constantly as 
we do for our food when we sit down to our ta- 
bles, though we have as much reason to do it. 
Are we in health and at ease ? Have we been 
long so ? We ought to be as thankful for a con- 
stant series of mercies, as for particular instances 
of them, especially considering how many are 
sick and in pain, and how much we have deser- 
ved to be so. 

Perhaps we have experienced some special 



310 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 

mercy, to ourselves or our families, in preserva- 
tion from fire or thieves, from dangers we have 
been aware of, and many more unseen ; weeping 
perhaps endured for a night, but joy came in the 
morning, and that calls aloud upon us to own the 
goodness of God. The destroying angel perhaps 
has been abroad, and the arrow that flies at mid- 
night, and wasteth in darkness, has been shot in 
at other's windows, but our houses have been 
passed over. Thanks be to God for the blood 
of the covenant sprinkled upon our door posts, 
and for the ministration of the good angels about 
us, to which we owe it that we have been pre- 
served from the malice of the evil angels against 
us, those rulers of the darkness of this world, who 
perhaps creep forth like the beasts of prey, when 
he maketh darkness and it is dark. All the glory 
be to the God of the angels. 

5. In the morning we have fresh matter minis- 
tered to us for adoration of the greatness and 
glory of God. We ought to take notice, not 
only of the gifts of God's bounty to us, which we 
have the comfort and benefit of, they are little 
narrow souls that confine their regards to them ; 
but we ought to observe the more general in- 
stances of his wisdom and power in the kingdom 
of providence which redound to his honour, and 
the common good of the universe. The 19th 
Psalm seems to have been a Morning Meditationy 
in which we are directed to observe how the 
heavens declare the glory of God, and the firma- 
ment showeth his handy. work j and to own, not 



WITH GOD. 81 1 

How to begin the day with God. 

only the advantage we receive from their light 
and influence, but the honour they do him, who 
stretched out the heavenslikea curtain, fixed their 
pillars, and established their ordinances, accord- 
ing to which they continue to this day, for they are 
all his servants. Day by day utters this speech, and 
night unto night showeth this knowledge, even 
the eternal power and Godhead of the great Crea- 
tor of the world, and its great ruler. The regu- 
lar and constant succession and revolution of light 
and darkness, according to the original contract 
made between them, that they should reign alter- 
nately, may serve to confirm our faith in that part 
of divine revelation, which gives us the history of 
the creation, and the promise of God to Noah and 
his sons. Gen. viii. 22. His covenant with the 
day and with the night, Jer. xxxiii. 20. 

Look up in the morning, and see how exactly 
the day-spring knows its place, knows its time, 
and keeps them: how the morning light takes 
hold of the ends of the earth, and of the air, which 
is turned to it as clay to the seal, instantly receiv- 
ing the impressions of it, Job xxviii. 12, 13, 14. 
I was pleased with an expression of a worthy good 
minister I heard lately, in his thanksgivings to 
God for the mercies of the morning : How many 
thousand miles (said he) has the sun travelled 
this last night to bring the light of the morning 
to us, poor sinful wretches, that justly might have 
been buried in the darkness of the night. Look 
up and see the sun as a bridegroom richly dress- 
ed, and hugely pleased, coming out of his cham- 



312 DAILY COMMUNION 

'«««^ «««^%« %« «%«^%««^%«««'%>V«l« «^«<«V««<^«^««.«^%« '«^««%<««^«^«/%«^V% VX%«V«' 

How to begin the day with God. 

ber, and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race; 
observe how bright his beams are, how sweet his 
smiles, how strong his influences: And if there 
be no speech or language where their voice is not 
heard, the voice of these natural immortal preach- 
ers, proclaiming the glory of God, it is a pity 
there should be any speech or language where 
the voice of his worshippers is not heard, echo- 
ing to the voice of those preachers, and ascribing 
glory to him who thus makes the morning and 
evening to rejoice. But whatever others do, let 
him hear our voice to this purpose in the morn- 
ing, and in the morning let us direct our praise 
unto him, 

6. In the morning we have, or should have had, 
fresh thoughts of God, and sweet meditations on 
his name, and those we ought to offer up to him 
in prayer. Have we been, according to David's 
example, remembering God upon our beds, and 
meditating upon him in the night watches? When 
we awake, can we say, as he did, we are still with 
God ? If so, we have a good errand to the throne 
of grace by the words of our mouths, to offer up 
to God the meditations of our hearts; and it will 
be to him a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour. 
If the heart has been inditing a good matter, let 
the tongue be as the pen of a ready writer, to 
pour it out before God, Psalm xlv. 1. 

We have the word of God to converse with, 
and we ought to read a portion of it every morn- 
ing. By it God speaks to us, and in it we ought 



^ 



WITH GOD. 313 

How to begin the day with God. 

to meditate day and night, which, if we do, that 
will send us to the throne of grace, and furnish us 
with many a good errand there. If God, in the 
morning, by his grace direct his word to us, so as 
to make it reach our hearts, that will eijgage us 
to direct our prayer to him. 

7. In the morning, it is to be feared, we find 
cause to reflect upon many vain and sinful 
thoughts that have been in our minds in the 
night season, and upon that account it is neces- 
sary we address ourselves to God by prayer in 
the morning for the pardon of them. The Lord's 
prayer seems to be calculated primarily, in the 
letter of it, for the morning; for we are taught to 
pray for our daily bread this day: And yet we 
are then to pray. Father, forgive us our trespasses; 
for, as in the hurry of the day we contract guilt 
by our irregular words and actions, so we do in 
the solitude of the night by our corrupt imagina- 
tions, and the wanderings of an unsanctified un- 
governed fancy. It is certain the thought of 
foolishness is sin, Prov. xxiv. 9. Foolish thoughts 
are sinful thoughts; the first-born of the old man, 
the first beginnings of all sin. And how many of 
these vain thoughts lodge within us wherever we 
lodge? Their name is legion, for they are many. 
Who can understand these errors ! They are 
more than the hairs of our head. We read of 
those that work evil upon their beds, because 
there they devise it; and when the morning is 
light they practise it, Mic. ii. 1. How often, in 
the night season, is the mind disquieted and dis- 

10 p p 



314 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 



tracted with distrustful careful thoughts; pollu- 
ted with unchaste and wanton thoughts; intoxi- 
cated with proud aspiring thoughts; soured and 
leavened with malicious revengeful thoughts; 
or, at the best, diverted from devout and pious 
thoughts by a thousand impertinencies. Out of 
the heart proceed evil thoughts, which lie down 
with us, and rise up with us; for out of that cor- 
rupt fountain, which, wherever we go, we carry 
about with us, these streams naturally flow. Yea, 
and in the multitude of dreams, as well as in many 
words, there are also divers vanities, Eccl. v. 2. 

And dare we go abroad until we have renew- 
ed our repentance, which we are every night, as 
well as every day, thus making work for? Are 
we not concerned to confess to him that knows 
our hearts, their wanderings from him, to com- 
plain of them to him as revolting and rebellious 
hearts, and bent to backslide; to make our peace 
in the blood of Christ, and to pray that the 
thoughts of our heart may be forgiven us? We 
cannot with safety go into the business of the day 
under the guilt of any sin unrepented of or un- 
pardoned. 

8. In the morning we are addressing ourselves 
to the work of the day, and therefore are con- 
cerned by prayer to seek unto God for his pre- 
sence and blessing ; we come, and are encour- 
aged to come boldly to the throne of grace, not 
only for mercy to pardon what has been amiss, 
but for grace to help in every time of need. 
And what time is it that is not a time of need to 



WITH GOD. 315 

How to begin the day with God. 

US? And therefore what morning should pass 
without morning prayer ? We read of that which 
the duty of every day requires, Ezra iii. 4; and 
in reference to that, we must go to God every 
morning to pray for the gracious disposals of his 
providence concerning us, and the gracious oper- 
ations of his Spirit upon us. 

We have families to look after, it may be, and 
to provide for, and are in care to do well for 
them; let us then every morning by prayer com* 
mit them to God, put them under the^conduct 
and government of his grace; and then we effec- 
tually put them under the care and protection of 
his providence. Holy Job rose up early in the 
morning to offer burnt-offerings for his children; 
and we should do so, to offer prayers and suppli- 
cations for them according to the number of them 
all. Job i. 5. Thus we cause the blessing to rest 
on our houses. 

We are going about the business of our call- 
ing, perhajis; let us look up to God, in the first 
place, for wisdom and grace to manage them 
well, in the fear of God, and to abide with him 
in them; and then we may in faith beg of him 
to prosper and succeed us in them, to strengthen 
us for the services of them, to support us under 
the fatigues of them, to direct the designs of them, 
and to give us comfort in the gains of them. We 
have journeys to go, it may be; let us look up to 
God for his presence with us, and go to no place 
where we cannot in faith beg of God to go 
with us. 

We have a prospect, perhaps, of opportunities 



316 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to begin the day with God. 



of doing or getting good; let us look up to God 
for a heart to use the price in our hands, for skill 
and will, and courage to improve it, that it may 
not be as a price in the hand of a fool. Every 
day has its temptations too, some perhaps we 
foresee, but there may be many more that we 
think not of, and are therefore concerned to be 
earnest with God, that we may not be led into 
any temptation, but guarded against every one; 
that whatever company we come into, we may 
have wi^om to do good, and no hurt to them; 
and to get good, and no hurt by them. 

We know not what a day may bring forth; lit- 
tle think we in the morning what tidings we may 
hear, and what events may befall us before night, 
and should therefore beg of God grace to carry 
us through the duties and difficulties which we 
do not foresee, as well as those which we do, in 
order to our standing complete in all the will of 
God, that as the day is, so may our strength be. 
We shall find, that sufficient unto the day is the 
evil thereof, and that therefore, as it is folly to 
take thought for to-morrow's events, so it is wis- 
dom to take thought for to-day's duty, that suffi- 
cient unto this day, and the duty of it, may be 
the supplies of the divine grace, thoroughly to 
furnish us for every word and work, and thorough- 
ly to fortify us against every evil word or work; 
that we may not think, or speak, or do any thing 
all day, which we may have cause upon any ac- 
count to wish unthought, unspoke, and undone 
again at night. 



WITH GOD. 317 

How to begin the day with God. 

For Application, 

First. Let this word put us in mind of our 
omissions; for omissions are sins, and must come 
into judgment: how often has our morning wor- 
ship been either neglected or negligently perform- 
ed ? The work has been either not done at all, 
or done deceitfully; either no sacrifice at all 
brought, or it has been the torn, the lame, and 
the sick; either no prayer, or the prayer not 
directed aright, nor lifted up. We have had the 
morning's mercies; God has not been i^anting 
in the compassion and care of a father for us, yet 
we have not done the morning's service, but have 
been shamefully wanting in the duty of children 
to him. 

Let us be truly humbled before God this morn- 
ing for our sin and folly herein, that we have so 
often robbed God of the honour, and ourselves 
of the benefit, of our morning worship. God hath 
come into our closets, seeking this fruit, but has 
found none, or next to none, hath hearkened and 
heard, but either we speak not to him at all, or 
speak not aright. Some trifling thing or other 
has served for an excuse to put it by once, and 
when once the good usage has been broken in 
upon, conscience has been wounded, and its 
bonds weakened, and we have grown more and 
more cool to it, and perhaps by degrees it has 
been quite left off. 

Secondly, I beseech you, suffer a word of ex- 
hortation concerning this. I know what an in- 
fluence it would have upon the prosperity of your 



IIBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 



318 DAILY COMMUNION. 

How to begin the day with God. 

souls to be constant and sincere in your secret 
worship, and therefore give me leave to press it 
upon you with all earnestness; let God hear from 
you every morning, every morning let your prayer 
be directed to him, and look up. 

1. Make conscience of your secret worship; 
keep it up, not only because it has been a custom 
you have received by tradition^ from your fathers, 
but because it is a duty, concerning which you 
have received commandment from the Lord. 
Keep li^ stated times for it, and be true to them. 
Let those that have hitherto lived in the total 
neglect, or in the frequent omission of secret 
prayer, be persuaded from henceforward to look 
upon it as the most needful part of their daily 
business, and the most delightful part of their 
daily comfort, and do it accordingly with a con- 
stant care, and yet with a constant pleasure. 

No persons, that have the use of their reason, 
can pretend an exemption from thb duty ; what 
is said to some is said to all. Pray, pray, conti- 
nue in prayer, and watch in the same. Rich 
people are not so much bound to labour with 
their hands as the poor ; poor people are not so 
much bound to give alms as the rich ; but both 
are equally bound to pray. The rich are not 
above the necessity of the duty, nor the poor 
below^ acceptance with God in it. It is not too 
soon for the youngest to begin to pray; and those 
whom the multitude of years has taught wisdom, 
yet at their end will be fools, if they think they 
have now no further occasion for prayer. 



I 



WITH GOD. 319 

How to begin the day with God. 

Let none plead they cannot pray: if you were 
ready to perish with hunger, you could beg and 
pray for food; and if you see yourselves undone by 
reason of sin, can you not beg and pray for mercy 
and grace ? Art thou a Christian ? Never for 
shame say. Thou canst not pray, for that is as 
absurd as for a soldier to say, he knows not how 
to handle a sword, or a carpenter an axe. What 
are we called for into the fellowship of Christ, but 
that by him we may have fellowship with God. 
You cannot pray so well as others, pray as well 
as you can, and God will accept of you. 

Let none plead they have no time in a morn- 
ing for prayer; I dare say you can find time for 
other things that are less needful; you had better 
take time from sleep than want time for prayer; 
and how can you spend time better, and more to 
your satisfaction and advantage? All the busi- 
ness of the day will prosper the better for your 
beginning it with God. 

Let none plead, that they have not a conve- 
nient place to be private in for this work. Isaac 
retired into the field to pray; and the Psalmist 
could be alone with God in a corner of the 
house-top. If you cannot perform it with so 
much secrecy as you would, yet perform it; it is 
doing it with ostentation that is the fault, not 
doing it under observation when it cannot be 
avoided. I remember, when I was a young man, 
coming up to London in the stage coach in king 
James' time, there happened to be a gentleman 
in the company, who then was not afraid to own 



320 DAILY COMMUNION 

How 10 begin the day with God. 

himself a Jesuit; many rencounters he and I had 
upon the road, and this was one ; he was praising 
the custom in Popish countries of keeping the 
church doors always open, for people to go in at 
any time to say their prayers. I told him it look- 
ed too like the practice of the Pharisees, who 
prayed in the synagogues, and did not agree with 
Christ's command, when thou prayest by thyself, 
enter not into the church with the doors open, 
but into thy closet, and shut thy doors. When he 
was pressed with that argument, he replied, with 
some vehemence, I believe you Protestants say 
your prayers nowhere ; for (said he) I have tra- 
velled a great deal in the coach in company with 
Protestants, have often lain in inns in the same 
room with them, and have carefully watched 
them, and could never perceive that any of them 
said his prayers, night or morning, but one, and 
he was a presbyterian. I hope there was more 
malice than truth in what he said; but I mention 
it as an intimation, that though w^ cannot be so 
private as we would be in our devotions, yet we 
must not omit them, lest the omission should not 
prove a sin only, but a scandal. 

2. Make a business of your secret worship, 
and be not slothful in this business, but fervent 
in spirit, serving the Lord. Take heed lest it 
degenerate into formality, and you grow cus- 
tomary in your accustomed services. Go about 
the duty solemnly. Be inward with God in it ; 
it is not enough to say your prayers, but you 
must pray your prayers, must pray in praying, 



I 



WITH GOD. 321 

How to spend the day with God. 

as Elijah did, James v. I7. Let us learn to la- 
bour frequently in prayer, as Epaphras did, Col. 
iv. 12, and we shall find it is the hand of the dili- 
gent in this duty that maketh rich. God looks 
not at the length of your prayers, nor shall you 
be heard for your much speaking, or fine speak- 
ing; but God requires truth in the inward part, 
and it is the prayer of the upright that is his de- 
light. When you have prayed, look upon your- 
selves as thereby engaged and encouraged, both 
to serve God and to trust in him; that the com- 
fort and benefit of your morning devotions may 
not be as the morning cloud which passeth away, 
but as the morning light which shines more and 
more. 



n Qq 



THE 

SECOND DISCOURSE; 

SHOWIMO 

HOW TO SPEND THE DAY WITH GOD. 



Psalm xxv. 5. 

On thee do I wait all the day^ 

Which of us is there that can truly say thus ? 
— That lives this life of communion with God, 
which is so much our business, and so much our 
blessedness ? How far short do we come of the 
spirit of holy David, though we have much better 
assistance for our acquaintance with God than 
the saints then had, by the clearer discoveries of 
the mediation of Christ. Yet that weak Chris- 
tians, who are sincere, may not therefore despair, 
be it remembered, that David himself was not 
always in such a frame as that he could say so; 1|| 
he had his infirmities, and yet was a man after 
God's own heart. We have ours, which, if they 
be sincerely lamented and striven against, and 
the habitual bent of our souls be towards God 
and heaven, we shall be accepted through Christ; 
for we are not under the law, but under grace. 

However, David's profession in the text shows 
us w^hat should be our practice : on God we must 
wait all the day. That notes two things, a pa- 
tient expectation, and a constant attendance. 

1. It speaks a patient expectation of his com- 



\ 



DAILY COMMUNION WITH GOD. 523 

How to spend the day with God. 

ing to us in a way of mercy ; and then, all the 
day must be taken figuratively, for all the time 
that the wanted and desired mercy is delayed. 
David, in the former part of the verse, prayed for 
divine conduct and instruction. Lead me in thy 
truth, and teach me. He was at a loss, and very 
desirous to know what God would have him to 
do, and was ready to do it; but God kept him in 
suspense ; he was not yet clear what was the 
mind and will of God what course he should 
steer, and how he should dispose of himself. Will 
he therefore proceed without divine direction ? 
No, on thee will I wait all the day, as Abraham 
attended on his sacrifice from morning till the sun 
went down, before God gave him an answer to 
his inquiries concerning his seed. Gen, xv. 5, 12; 
and as Habakkuk stood upon his watch-tower, to 
see what answer God would give him when he 
consulted his oracle ; and though it do not come 
presently, yet at the end it shall speak, and not lie. 
David, in the words preceding the text, had 
called God the God of his salvation, the God on 
whom he depended for salvation, temporal and 
eternal salvation ; from whom he expected de- 
liverance out of his present distresses, those 
troubles of his heart that were enlarged, ver. I7, 
and out of the hands of those enemies that were 
ready to triumph over him, ver. 2, and that hated 
him with cruel hatred, ver. 19. Hoping that God 
will be his Saviour, he resolves to wait on him 
all the day, like a genuine son of Jacob, whose dy- 
ing profession was, Gen. xlix. 18, **I have waited 



324 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

for thy salvation, O Lord." Sometimes God pre- 
vents his people with the blessings of his good- 
ness ; before they call he answers them, is in the 
midst of his church to help her, and that right 
early, Psal. xlvi. 5. But at other times he seems 
to stand afar off, he delays the deliverance, and 
keeps them long in expectation of it, nay, and in 
suspense about it. The light is neither clear nor 
dark, it is day, and that is all. It is a cloudy and 
dark day, and it is not till evening time that it 
is light, that the comfort comes, which they have 
been all the day waiting for; nay, perhaps it comes 
not till far in the night. It is at midnight that the 
cry is made, ** Behold the bridegroom comes." 
The deliverance of the church out of her troubles, 
the success of her struggles, and rest from them, a 
rescue from under the rod of the wicked, and the 
accomplishment of all that which God hath pro- 
mised concerning it, is what we must continue 
humbly waiting upon God for, without distrust 
or impatience ; we must wait all the day. 

1. Though it be a long day; though we be kept 
waiting a great while, quite beyond our own rec- 
koning. Though, when we have waited long, we 
are still put to wait longer, and are bid, with the 
prophet's servant, to go yet seven times (1 Kings 
xviii. 43), before we perceive the least sign of 
mercy coming. We looked that this and the 
other had been he that should have delivered Is- 
rael, but are disappointed. ''The harvest is past, 
the summer is ended, and we are not saved," Jer. 
viii. 20. The time is prolonged, nay, the oppor- 



WITH GOD. 325 

How to spend the day with God. 



tunities are let slip, the summer time and harvest 
time, when we thought to have reaped the fruit 
of all our prayers, and pains, and patience, is past 
and ended, and we are as far as ever from salva- 
tion. The time that the ark abode in Kirjath- 
jearim was long, much longer than it was thought 
it would have been when it was first lodged there: 
it was twenty years 5 so that the whole house of 
Israel lamented after the Lord, and began to fear 
it would abide for ever in that obscurity, 1 Sam. 
vii. 2. 

But though it be a long day, it is but a day, 
but one day, and it is known to the Lord, Zech. 
xiv. 7* It seems long while we are kept wait- 
ing, but the happy issue will enable us to reflect 
upon it as short, and but for a moment. It is 
no longer than God hath appointed, and we are 
sure his time is the best time, and his favours 
are worth waiting for. The time is long, but it 
is nothing to the days of eternity, when those 
that had long patience shall be recompensed for 
it with an everlasting salvation. 

2. Though it be a dark day, yet let us wait up- 
on God all the day. Though, while we are kept 
waiting for what God will do, we are kept in the 
dark concerning what is doing, and what is best 
for us to do; yet let us be content to wait in the 
dark. Though we see not our signs, though 
there is none to tell us how long ; yet let us re- 
solve to wait, how long so ever it be; for though 
what God doth, we know not now, yet we shall 
know hereafter, when the mystery of God shall 
be finished. 



326 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



^^%**^^^%»%^»^%%*^^^^%»^^ 



Never was man more perplexed concerning 
God's dealings with him than poor Job was; "I , 
go forward, but he is not there ; backward, butw 
I cannot perceive him; on the left hand, on the 
right hand, but I cannot see him," Job xxiii. 8, 9; 
yet he sits down, ver. 10, resolving to wait on God 
all the day with a satisfaction in this, that though 
I know not the way that he takes, he knows the 
way that I take ; and when he has tried me, I 
shall come forth as gold, approved and improved. 
He sits by as a refiner, and will take care that 
the gold be in the furnace no longer than is need- 
ful for refining it. When God's way is in the 
sea, so that he cannot be traced, yet we are sure 
his way is in the sanctuary, so that he may be 
trusted. See Psalm Ixxvii. 13, 19. And when 
clouds and darkness are round about him, yet 
even then justice and judgment are the habita- 
tion of his throne. 

3. Though it be a stormy day, yet we must 
wait upon God all the day. Though we are not 
only becalmed, and do not get forward ; but 
though the wind be contrary, and drives us back, ^ 
nay, though it be boisterous, and the church be 
tossed with tempests, and ready to sink, yet we 
must hope the best: yet we must wait and wea- 
ther the storm by patience. It is some comfort 
that Christ is in the ship. The church's cause is 
Christ's own cause, he has espoused it, and he 
will own it; he is embarked in the same bottom 
with his people, and therefore why are ye fearful? 



«^ % %*^»»»%»^^ 



WITH GOD. 327 

How to spend the day with God. 

doubt not but the ship will come safe to Und. 
Though Christ seem for the present to be asleep, 
the prayers of his disciples will awake him, and he 
will rebuke the winds and the waves; though the 
bush burn, if God be in it, it shall not be con- 
sumed. Yet this is not all, Christ is not only in \ 
the ship, but at the helm ; whatever threatens 
the church is ordered by the Lord Jesus, and 
shall be made to work for its good. It is excel- 
lently expressed by Mr. George Herbert : 

** Away ! despair, ray gracious God doth hear, 

When winds and waves assault my keel, 
He doth preserve it, he doth steer, 

Even when the boat seems most to reel. 
Storms are the triumph of his art. 

Well may he close his eyes, but not his heart." 

It is a seasonable word at this day ; what God 
will do with us we cannot tell ; but of this we are 
sure, he is a God of judgment, infinitely wise 
and just, and therefore blessed are all they that 
wait for him, Isa. xxx. 18. He will do his own 
work in his own way and time; and though we be 
hurreid back into the wilderness, when we thought 
we had been upon the borders of Canaan, we 
suffer justly for our unbelief and murmurings ; 
but God acts wisely, and will be found faithful 
to his promise; his time to judge for his people, 
and to repent himself concerning his servants, is 
when he sees that their strength is gone. This 
was seen of old in the mount of the Lord, and 
shall be again. And therefore let us continue in 
a waiting frame. Hold out faith and patience, 



328 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

for it is good that a man should both hope and 
quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord 

2. It speaks a constant attendance upon him 
in a way of duty. And so we understand th©^ 
day literally. It was David's practice to wait up-Sfl 
on God all the day, murle, it signifies both every 
day, and all the day long ; it is the same with that 
command, Prov. xxiii. 17, "Be thou in the fear 
of the Lord all the day long." 

Doct, It is not enough for us to begin every 
day with God, but on him we must wait every 
day, and all the day long." 

For the opening of this, I must show, (1.) What 
it is to wait upon God : and, (?.) That we must 
do this every day, and all the day long. 

For the Firsts Let us inquire, what it is to wait 
on God. You have heard how much it is our 
duty in the morning to speak to him in solemnr 
prayer. But have we then done with him for 
all day? No: we must still be waiting on him, 
as one to whom we stand very nearly related, and 
very strongly obliged. To wait on God, is to 
live a life of desire towards him, delight in him, 
dependance on him, and devotedness to him. 

1. It is to live a life of desire towards God j 
to wait on him as the beggar waits on his bene- 
factor, with earnest desire to receive supplies 
from him; as the sick and sore in Bethesda's 
pool waited for the stirring of the water, and at- 
tended in the porches with desire to be helped 
in and healed. When the prophet had said, 
** Lord, in the way of thy judgments we have wait- 



WITH GOD. 329 

How to spend the day with God. 

ed for thee," he explained himself thus in the next 
words, ** The desire of our soul is to thy name, 
and to the remembrance of thee; and with my soul 
have I desired thee," Is. xxvi. 8, 9. Our desire 
must be not only towards the good things that 
God gives, but towards God himself, his favour 
and love, the manifestation of his name to us, and 
the influences of his grace upon us. Then we 
wait on God, when our souls pant after him, and 
his favour, when we thirst for God, for the living 
God. O that I may behold the beauty of the 
Lord ! O that I may taste his goodness ! O 
that I may bear his image, and be entirely con- 
formed to his will ! For there is none in heaven or 
earth that I can desire in comparison of him. O 
that I may know him more, and love him better, 
and be brought nearer to him, and made fitter for 
him. Thus, upon the wings of holy desire, should 
our souls be still soaring upwards towards God, 
still pressing forward, forward towards heaven. 

We must not only pray solemnly in the morn- 
ing, but that desire, which is the life and soul of 
prayer, like the fire upon the altar, must be kept 
continually burning, ready for the sacrifices that 
are to be offered upon it. The bent and bias of 
the soul, in all its motions, must be towards God, 
the serving of him in all we do, and the enjoying 
of him in all we have. And this is principally in- 
tended in the commands given us to pray always, 
to pray without ceasing, to continue in prayer. 
Even when we are not making actual addresses 
to God, yet "we must have habitual inclinations 

n R r 



330 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God, 



k** -O^^^^^^^^^^l^^l^^^^^ %^V^%^%» 



1 



towards him ; as a man in health, though he is not 
always eating, yet hath always a disposition in him 
towards the nourishment and delights of the 
body. Thus must we be always waiting on God, 
as our chief good, and moving towards him. 

2. It is to live a life of delight in God, as the 
lover waits on his beloved. Desire is love in mo- 
tion, as a bird upon the wing ; delight is love at 
rest, as a bird upon the nest; now, though our de- 
sire must still be so towards God, as that we must 
be wishing for more of God, yet our delight must 
be so in God, as that we must never wish for 
more than God. Believing him to be a God all- 
sufficient, in him we must be entirely satisfied; let 
him be mine, and I have enough. Is it our de- 
light to love God? Is it a pleasure to us to think 
that there is a God ? that he is such a one as he 
has revealed himself to be ? that he is our God by 
creation, to dispose of us as he pleaseth ? our God 
in covenant, to dispose of all for the best to us? 
This is waiting on our God, always looking up to 
him with pleasure. 

Something or other the soul has that it values 
itself by, something or other that it reposes itself 
in; and what is it? God or the world ? What is 
it that we pride ourselves in ? Which we make 
the matter of our boasting ? It is the character 
of worldly people, that they boast themselves in 
the abundance of their riches, Psalm xlix.6, and 
of their own might, and the power of their own 
hands, which they think has gotten them this 
wealth. It is the character of godly people, that 



WITH GOD. 331 

How to spend the day with God. 



■»%*%%^»»V»»*V»»%<^'V^^«^ w»-vv« 



in God they boast all the day long, Psal. xliv. 8. 
To wait on God, is having our eye always upon 
him with a secret complacency, as men have on 
that which is their glory, and which they glory in. 

What is it that we please ourselves with, which 
we embrace with the greatest satisfaction, in the 
bosom of which we lay our heads, and in having 
which we hug ourselves, as having all we would 
have. The worldly man, when his barns are full of 
corn, saith, **Soul, take thine ease, eat, drink, and 
be merryj" — the godly man can never say so un- 
til he finds his heart full of God, and Christ, and 
grace J and then, return unto thy rest, O my soul, 
here repose thyself. The gracious soul dwells in 
God, is at home in him, and there dwells at ease, 
is in him perpetually pleased ; and whatever he 
meets with in the world to make him uneasy, he 
finds enough in God to balance it. 

3. It is to live a life of dependance on God, as 
the child waits on his father whom he has con- 
fidence in, and on whom he casts all his care. 
To wait on God, is to expect all good to come 
to us from him, as the worker of all good for us, 
and in us, the giver of all good to us, and the pro- 
tector of us from all evil. Thus David explains 
himself, Ps. Ixii. 5, " My soul, wait thou only up- 
on God," and continue still to do soj "for my ex- 
pectation is from him j" I look not to any other 
for the good I need; for I know that every crea- 
ture is that to me, and no more, than he makes it 
to be, and from him every man's judgment pro- 
ceeds. Shall we lift up our eyes to the hills? 
Doth our help come from thence? Doth the 



332 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

dew that waters the valleys come no further than 
from the tops of the hills ? Shall we go higher 
and lift up our eyes to the heavens, to the clouds? 
Can they of themselves give rain? No, if God 
hear not the heavens, they hear not the earthj we 
must therefore look above the hills, above the 
heavens ; for all our help cometh from the Lord. 
It was the acknowledgment of a king, and no good 
one neither, if the Lord do not help thee, whence 
shall I help thee, out of the barn-floor, or out of 
the wine-press. 

And our expectations from God, as far as they 
are guided by, and grounded upon, the word 
which he hath spoken, ought to be humbly con- 
fident, and with a full assurance of faith. We 
must know and be sure, that no word of God 
shall fall to the ground, that the expectation of 
the poor shall not perish. Worldly people say 
to their gold, thou art my hope, and to the fine 
gold, thou art my confidence; and the rich man's 
wealth is his strong city ; but God is the only re- 
fuge and portion of the godly man here in the 
land of the living; it is to him only that he saith, 
and he saith it with a holy boldness, thou art my 
hope and my confidence. The eyes of all things 
wait on him, for he is good to all ; but the eyes 
of his saints especially, for he is in a peculiar man- 
ner good to Israel, good to them. They know 
his name, and therefore will trust and triumph 
in him, as those that know they shall not be made 
ashamed of their hope. 

4. It is to live a life of devotedness to God, as 



WITH GOD. 333 

How to spend the day with God. 

the servant waits on his master, ready to observe 
his will, and to do his work, and in every thing 
to consult his honour and interest. To wait on 
God, is entirely and unreservedly to refer our- 
selves to his wise and holy directions and dispo- 
sals, and cheerfully to acquiesce in them, and 
comply with them. The servant that waits on his 
master chooseth not his own way, but follows his 
master step by step. Thus must we wait on God, 
as those that have no will of our own, but what 
is wholly resolved into his, and must therefore 
study to accommodate ourselves to his. It is the 
character of the redeemed of the Lord, that they 
follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes, with an 
implicit faith and obedience. As the eyes of a 
servant are to the hand of his master, and the 
eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress, so 
must our eyes wait on the Lord, to do what he 
appoints us, to take what he allots us. Father, 
thy will be done ; Master, thy will be done. 

The servant waits on his master, not only to 
do him service, but to do him honour; and thus 
must we wait on God, that we may be to him 
for a name and for a praise. His glory must be 
our ultimate end, to which we, and all we are, 
have, and can do, must be dedicated. We must 
wear his livery, attend in his courts, and follow 
his motions as his servants for this end, that he 
may in all things be glorified. 

To wait on God, is to make his will our rule. 

1. To make the will of his precepts the rule of 
our practice, and to do every duty with an eye 



SS4 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

to that. We must wait on him to receive his com- 
mands, with a resolution to comply with them, 
how much soever they may contradict our cor- 
rupt inclinations or secular interests. We must 
wait on him, as the holy angels do, that always 
behold the face of their Father; as those that are 
at his beck, and are ready to go upon the least 
intimation of his will, though but by a wink of 
his eye, wherever he sends them. Thus must 
we do the will of God, as the angels do it that 
are in heaven, those ministers of his that do his 
pleasure, and are always about his throne in or- 
der to it; never out of the way. 

David here prays, that God would show him 
his way, and lead him, and teach him, and keep 
him, and forward him in the way of his duty ; 
and so the text comes in as a plea to enforce that 
petition; "for on thee do I wait all the day," 
ready to receive the law from thy mouth, and in 
every thing to observe thine orders. And then it 
intimates this, that those, and those only, can ex- 
pect to be taught of God, who are ready and will- 
ing to do as they are taught. If any man will do 
his will, be stedfastly resolved, in the strength of 
his grace, to comply with it, he shall know what 
his will is. David prays, " Lord, give me under- 
standing ;'* and then promiseth himself, I shall 
keep thy law, yea, I shall observe it, as the servant 
that waits on his master. They that go up to 
the house of the Lord, with an expectation that 
he will teach them his ways, it must be with an 
humble resolution that they will walk in his paths, 



1 



335 

How to spend the day with God. 

Isa. ii. 3. Lord, let the pillar of cloud and fire 
go before me; for I am determined, with full pur- 
pose of heart, to follow it, and thus to wait on 
my God all the day. 

2. To make the will of his Providence the rule 
of our patience, and to bear every affliction with 
an eye to that. We are sure it is God that per- 
formeth all things for us ; and he performeth the 
thing that is appointed for us ; we are sure that 
all is well that God doth, and shall be made to 
work for good to all that love him ; and in order 
to that, we ought to acquiesce in, and accommo- 
date ourselves to, the whole will of God. To 
wait on the Lord, is to say, it is the Lord, let 
him do with me as seemeth good to him ; because 
nothing seemeth good to him but what is really 
good; and so we shall see when God's work ap- 
pears in a full light. It is to say, ** Not as I will, 
but as thou wilt ;" for should it be according to 
my mind ? It is to bring our mind to our con- 
dition in every thing, so as to keep that calm and 
easy, what ever happens to make us uneasy. 

And we must therefore bear the affliction, 
what ever it is, because it is the will of God ; it is 
what he has allotted us, who doth all according to 
the council of his own will. This is Christian 
patience : I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, 
not because it was to no purpose to complain, 
but because thou didst it, and therefore I had no 
reason to complain. And this will reconcile us 
to every affliction, one as well as another, because 
whatever it is, it is the will of God; and in com^ 



336 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



pliance with that, we must not only be silent be- 
cause of the sovereignty of his will, but we must 
be satisfied, because of the wisdom and goodness 
of it. Wo unto him that strives with his Maker. 
Whatever the disposals of God's providence may 
be concerning those that wait on him, we may 
be sure, that as he doth them no wrong, so he 
means them no hurt : Nay, they may say as the 
Psalmist did, even then when he was plagued all 
the day long, and chastened every morning, how- 
ever it be, yet God is good ; and therefore, though 
he slay me, yet will I trust in him, yet will I wait 
on him. 

I might open this duty, of waiting on God, by 
other scripture expressions which speak the same 
thing, and are as this, comprehensive of a great 
part of that homage which we are bound to pay 
to him, and that communion which it is our in- 
terest to keep up with him. Truly thus our fel- 
lowship is with the Father, and with his Son Je- 
sus Christ. 

It is to set God always before us. Psalm xvi. 
8. To look upon him as one always near us, 
always at our right hand, and who has his eye 
upon us, wherever we are, and whatever we are 
doing; nay, as one in whom we live, and move, 
and have our being, with whom we have to do, 
and to whom we are accountable. This is pressed 
upon us as the great principle of gospel obedi- 
ence ; ** walk before me, and be thou upright." 
Herein consists that uprightness which is our 
evangelical perfection, in walking at all times as 



WITH GOD. S37 

How to spend the day with God. 

before God, and studying to approve ourselves 
to him. 

It is to have our eyes ever towards the Lord, 
as it follows here, Psalm xxv. 15. Though we 
cannot see him by reason of our present distance 
and darkness, yet we must look towards him, to- 
wards the place where his honour dwells; as those 
that desire the knowledge of him and his will, 
and direct all to his honour as the mark we aim 
at, labouring in this, that whether present or ab- 
sent, we may be accepted of him. To wait on 
him, is to follow him with our eye in all those 
things wherein he is pleased to manifest himself, 
and to admit the discoveries of his being and per- 
fections. 

It is to acknowledge God in all our ways, Prov. 
iii. 6 ; in all the actions of life, and in all the af- 
fairs of life, we must walk in his hand, and set 
ourselves in the way of his steps. In all our un- 
dertakings we must wait upon him for direction 
and success, and by faith and prayer commit our 
way to him to undertake for us; and him we must 
take with us wherever we go : ** If thy presence 
go not up with us, carry us not up hence." In all 
our comforts we must see his hand giving them 
out to us; and in all our crosses we must see the 
same hand laying them upon us — that we may 
learn to receive both good and evil, and to bless 
the name of the Lord both when he gives and 
when he takes. 

It is to follow the Lord fully, as Caleb did, 
Num. xiv. '24. It is to follow after the Lord, so 

11 s s 



338 DAILY COMMUNION 

%»%%»»%» »»»*»^»%%»»^»»%**^*»»^**»**^*^^^<'%*%*»*^<» 

Hove to spend the day with God. WK 

the word is; to have respect to all his command- 
ments, and to study to stand complete in his whole 
will. Wherever God leads us, and goes before 
us, we must be followers of him as dear children, 
must follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes, and 
take him for our guide whithersoever we go. 

This is to wait on God, and those that do so 
may cheerfully wait for him ; for he will without 
fail appear in due time to their joy; and that word 
of Solomon shall be made good to them, " he 
that waits on his master shall be honoured ;" for 
Christ hath said, where I am, there shall also my 
servant be, Prov. xxvii. 18. 

For the second thing. Having showed you 
what rt is to wait on God, I come next to show, 
that this we must do every day, and all the day 
long. 

1. We must wait on our God every day. Omni 
die^ so some. This is the work of every day, 
which is to be done in its day, for the duty of 
every day requires it. Servants in the courts of 
princes have their weeks or months of waiting ap- 
pointed them, and are tied to attend only at cer- 
tain times. But God*s servants must never be 
out of waiting: all the days of our appointed time, 
the time of our work and warfare here on earth, 
we must be waiting, Job xiv. 14, and not desire 
or expect to be discharged from this attendance 
till we come to heaven, where we shall wait on 
God, as angels do, more nearly and constantly. 

We must wait on God every day. 

1. Both on Sabbath days and on week days. 



WITH GOD. 339 

How to spend the day with God. 

The Lord's day is instituted and appointed on pur- 
pose for our attendance on God in the courts of 
his house 5 there we must wait on him, to give glo- 
ry to him, and to receive both commands and fa- 
vours from him. Ministers must then wait on their 
ministry, Rom. xii. 7» and people must wait on it 
too, saying, as Cornelius for himself and his friends, 
"Now are we all here ready before God, to hear 
all things that are commanded thee of God,'* 
Acts X. 33. It is for the honour of God to help 
to fill up the assemblies of those that attend at 
the footstool of his throne, and to add to their 
number. The whole Sabbath time, except what 
is taken up in works of necessity and mercy, must 
be employed in waiting on our God. Christians 
are spiritual priests, and as such it is their busi- 
ness to wait in God's house at the time appointed. 
But that is not enough, we must wait upon our 
God on week days too ; for every day of the week 
we want mercy from him, and have work to do 
for him. Our waiting upon him in public ordi- 
nances, on the first day of the week, is designed 
to fix us to, and fit us for, communion with him 
all the week after ; so that we answer not the in- 
tentions of the Sabbath, unless the impressions 
of it abide upon us, and go with us into the busi- 
ness of the week, and be kept always in the ima- 
gination of the thoughts of our heart. Thus, from 
one Sabbath to another, and from one new moon 
to another, we must keep in a holy gracious frame; 
must be so in the Spirit on the Lord's day, as to 
walk in the Spirit all the week. 



S40 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

2. Both on idle days, and busy days, we must 
be found waiting on God. Some days of our 
lives are days of labour and hurry, when our par- 
ticular calling calls for our close and diligent ap- 
plication; but we must not think that will excuse 
us from our constant attendance on God. Even 
then, when our hands are working about the 
world, our hearts may be waiting on our God, 
by an habitual regard to him, to his providence 
as our guide, and his glory as our end in our 
worldly business; and thus we must abide with 
him in them. Those that rise up early, and sit 
up late, and eat the bread of carefulness in pur- 
suit of the world, yet are concerned to wait on 
God, because otherwise all their care and pains 
will signify nothing, it is labour in vain. Psalm 
cxxvii. 1, 2 ; nay, it is labour in the fire. 

Some days of our lives we relax in business 
and take our ease. Many of you have your time 
for diversion, but then when you lay aside other 
business, this of waiting upon God must not be 
laid aside. When you prove yourselves with 
mirth, as Solomon did, and say, you will enjoy 
pleasure a little, yet let this wisdom remain with 
you, Eccl. ii. 1, 3; let your eye be then up to 
God, and take heed of dropping your communion 
•with him, in that which you call an agreeable con- 
versation with your friends. Whether it be a day 
of work, or a day of rest, we shall find nothing 
like waiting upon God, both to lighten the toil 
of our work, and to sweeten the comfort of our 
repose. So that whether we have miich to do 




WITH GOD. SJl 

How to spend the day with God. 

or little to do in the world, still we must wait 
upon God, that we may be kept from the temp- 
tation that attends both the one and the other. 

3. Both in days of prosperity, and in days of 
adversity, we must be found waking upon God. 
Doth the world smile upon us, and court us.^ 
yet let us not turn from attending on God, to 
make our court to it. If we have ever so much 
of the wealth of the world, yet we cannot say 
we have no need of God, no further occasion to 
make use of him ; as David was ready to say, 
when, in his prosperity, he said he should never 
be moved ; but soon saw his error, when God 
hid his face, and he was troubled, Psaflm xxx. 6. 
When our affairs prosper, and into our hands 
God bringeth plentifully, we must wait upon 
God as our great landlord, and own our obliga- 
tions to him ; must beg his blessing on what we 
have, and his favour with it, and depend upon 
him both for the continuance and for the com- 
fort of it. We must wait upon God for wisdom 
and grace, to use what we have in the world for 
the ends for which we are entrusted with it, as 
those that must give account, and know not how 
soon. And how much soever we have of this 
world, and how richly soever it is given us to en- 
joy it, still we must wait upon God for better 
things, not only than the world gives, but than 
he himself gives in this world. Lord, put me not 
off with this world for a portion. 

And when the world frowns upon us, and 
things go very cross, we must not so fret our- 



342 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



selves at its frowns, or so frighten ourselves witte 
them, as thereby to be driven off from waiting 
on God, but rather let us thereby be driven to it. 
Afflictions are sent for this end, to bring us to the 
throne of grace, to teach us to pray, and to make 
the word of God's grace precious to us. In 
the day of our sorrow we must wait upon God 
for those comforts which are sufficient to balance 
our griefs. Job, when in tears, fell down and 
worshipped Godj taking away, as well as giving. 
In the day of our fear we must wait upon God 
for those encouragements that are sufficient to 
silence our fears. Jehoshaphat, in his distress, 
waited on God, and it was not in vain, his heart 
was established by it: and so was David's often, 
which brought him to this resolution, which was 
an anchor to his soul, *^ What time I am afraid, I 
will trust in thee. 

4. Both in the days of youth, and in the days 
of old age, we must be found waiting on God. 
Those that are young cannot begin their attend- 
ance on God too soon. The child Samuel min- 
istered to the Lord, and the Scripture story puts 
a particular mark of honour upon it j and Christ 
was wonderfully pleased with the hosannas of 
the children that waited on him, when he rode 
in triumph into Jerusalem. When Solomon, in 
his youth, upon his accession to the throne, wait- 
ed upon God for wisdom, it is said the saying 
pleased the Lord. I remember thee (saith God 
to Israel) even the kindness of thy youth, when 
thou wentest after me, and didst wait upon me 



WITH GOD. 34f3 

How to spend the day with God. 



^%%%»%»^^^»^^^»^»»^%%^%^%%»»'»^^%»^»^< 



in the wilderness, Jer. ii. 2. To wait upon God, 
is to be mindful of our Creator ; and the proper 
time for that is in the days of our youth, Eccles. 
xii. 1. Those that would wait upon God aright, 
must learn betimes to do it ; the most accom- 
plished courtiers are those bred at court. 

And may the old servants of Jesus be dis- 
missed from waiting on him ? No, their attend- 
ance is still required, and shall still be accepted: 
They shall not be cast off' by their Master in the 
time of old age ; and therefore let them not then 
desert his service. When, through the infirmities 
of age, they can no longer be working servants 
in God's family, yet they may be waiting ser- 
vants. •Those that, like Barzillai, are unfit for the 
entertainments of the courts of earthly princes, 
yet may relish the pleasure of God's courts as 
well as ever. The Levites, when they were past 
the age of fifty, and were discharged from the 
toilsome part of their ministration, yet still must 
wait on God, must be quietly waiting to give 
honour to him, and to receive comfort from him. 
Those that have done the will of God, and their 
doing work is at an end, have need of patience 
to enable them to wait until they inherit the pro- 
mise: and the nearer the happiness is which they 
are waiting for, the dearer should the God be 
they are waiting on, and hope shortly to be with 
eternally. 

2. We must wait on our God all the day till we 
die, so we read it. Every day, from morning to 
night, we must continue waiting on God: what- 



344 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



k«^V« «%«%%««%« 




ever change there may be of our employment, 
this must be the constant disposition of our souls, 
we must attend upon God, and have our eyes 
ever towards him ; we must not at any time allow 
ourselves to wander from God, or to attend on 
any thing besides him, but what we attend on for 
him, in subordination to his will, and in subser- 
viency to his glory. 

1. We must cast our daily cares upon him. 
Every day brings with it its fresh cares, more 
or less ; these wake with us every morning, and 
we need not go so far forward as to-morrow to 
fetch care; sufficient unto the day is the evil 
thereof. You that are great dealers in the world 
have your cares attending you all the day;*though 
you keep them to yourselves, yet they sit down 
with you, and rise up with you; they go out and 
come in with you, and are more a load upon you 
than those you converse with are aware of. 
Some, through the weakness of their spirits, can 
scarcely determine any thing but with fear and 
trembling. 

Let this burden be cast upon the Lord, be- 
lieving that his Providence extends itself to all 
your affairs, to all events concerning you, and 
to all the circumstances of them, even the most 
minute and seemingly accidental; that your times 
are in his hand, and all your ways at his disposal ; 
believe his promise, that all things shall be made 
to work for good to those that love him, and then 
refer it to him in every thing, to do with you 
and yours as seemeth good in his eyes, and rest 



WITH GOD. 345 



How to spend the day with God. 



satisfied in having done so, and resolve to be easy. 
Bring your cares to God by prayer in the mor- 
ning; spread them before him, and then make it 
to appear all the day, by the composedness and 
cheerfulness of your spirits, that you left them 
with him as Hannah did, who, when she had 
prayed, went her way and did eat, and her coun- 
tenance was no more sad, 1 Sam. i. 18. Commit 
your way to the Lord, and then submit to his 
disposal of it, though it may cross your expecta- 
tions; and bear up yourselves upon the assurances 
God has given you, that he will care for you as 
the tender father for his child. 

2. We must manage our daily business for him, 
with an eye to his providence, putting us into the 
calling and employment wherein we are ; and to 
his precept, making diligence in it our duty ; with 
an eye to his blessing, as that which is necessary 
to make it comfortable and successful; and to his 
glory as our highest end in all. This sanctifies 
our common actions to God, and sweetens them, 
and makes them pleasant to ourselves. If Gains 
brings his friends that he is parting with a little 
way on their journey, it is but a piece of common 
civility ; but let him do it after a godly sort ; let 
him in it pay respect to them, because they belong 
to Christ ; and for his sake let him do it, that he 
may have an opportunity of so much more profit- 
able communication with them ; and then it be- 
comes an act of Christian piety, 3 John 6. It is 
a general rule by which we must govern ourselves 
in the business of every day. Whatever we do, 

11 T t 



346 



DAILY COMMUNION 



I 



How to spend the day with God. 



in word or deed, let us do all in the name of the 
Lord Jesus, Col. iii. 17; and thus in and by the 
Mediator we wait on our God. 

This is particularly recommended to servants, 
though their employments are but mean, and 
they are under the command of their masters ac- 
cording to the flesh, yet let them do their servile 
work as the servants of Christ, as unto the Lord 
and not unto men; let them do it with singleness 
of heart as unto Christ, and they shall be accep- 
ted of him, and from him shall receive the reward 
of the inheritance, Eph. vi. 5, 6, 7, 8. Col. iii. 22, 
24. Let them wait on God all the day, when 
they are doing their day's work, by doing it faith- 
fully and conscientiously, that they may adorn 
the doctrine of God our Saviour, by aiming at 
his glory even in common business. They work 
that they may get bread ; they desire bread that 
they may live ; not that they may live to them- 
selves, and please themselves, but that they may 
live to God and please him. They work that 
they may fill up time, and fill up a place in the 
world, and because that God, who made and, 
maintains us, has appointed us with quietness to 
work and mind our own business. 

3. We must receive our daily comforts from 
him ; we must wait on him as our benefactor; as 
the eyes of all things wait upon him, to give them 
their food in due season, and what he giveth them, 
that they gather. To him we must look, as toi| 
our father, for our daily bread, and from him we\ 
are appointed to ask it, yea, though we have it 



WITH GOD. 3^7 

How to spend the day with God. 

in the house, though we have it upon the table; 
we must wait upon him for a covenant right to 
it, for leave to make use of it, for a blessing upon 
it, for nourishment by it, and for comfort in it. 
It is in the word and prayer that we wait on God, 
and keep up communion with him, and by these 
every creature of God is sanctified to us, 1 Tim. 
iv. 4, 5, and the property of it is altered. To 
the pure all things are pure; they have them 
from the covenant, and not from common pro- 
vidence ; which makes a little that the righteous 
man has, better than the riches of many wicked, 
and much more valuable and comfortable. 

No inducement can be more powerful to make 
us see to it, that what we have we get it honestly, 
and use it soberly, and give God his due out of it, 
than this consideration, that we have our all from 
the hand of God, and are entrusted with it as 
stewards, and consequently are accountable. If 
we have this thought as a golden thread running 
through all the comforts of every day, these are 
God's gifts ; every bit we eat, and every drop we 
drink, is his mercy ; every breath we draw, and 
every step we take, is his mercy: this will keep us 
continually waiting upon him, as the ass on his 
master's crib, and will put a double sweetness in- 
to all our enjoyments. God will have his mer- 
cies taken fresh from his compassions, which for 
this reason are said to be new every morning; and 
therefore it is not once a-week that we are to 
wait upon him, as people go to market to buy 
provisions for the whole week, but we must wait 



348 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

on him every day, and all the day, as those that 
live from hand to mouth, and yet live very easy. 

4. We must resist our daily temptations, and 
do our daily duties, in the strength of his grace. 
Every day brings its temptations with it. Our 
Master knew that, when he taught us, as duly as 
we pray for our d^-ily bread, to pray that we 
might not be led into temptation. There is no 
business we engage in, no enjoyment we partake 
of, but has its snares attending it. Satan by it 
assaults us, and endeavours to draw us into sin, 
Now sin is the great evil we should be continually 
upon our guard against, as Nehemiah was, chap. 
vi. 13. •* That I should be afraid, and do so, and 
sin." And we have no way to secure ourselves 
but by waiting on God all the day; we must not 
only in the morning put ourselves under the pro- 
tection of his grace, but we must all day keep 
ourselves under the shelter of it ; must not only 
go forth, but go on in dependence upon that 
grace, which he hath said shall be sufficient for 
us, that care, which will not suffer us to be temp- 
ted above what we are able. Our waiting upon 
God will furnish us with the best arguments to 
make use of in resisting temptations, and with 
strength according to the day ; be strong in the 
Lord, and in the power of his might, and then 
we wait on the Lord all the day. 

We have duty to do, many an opportunity of 
speaking good words, and doing good works, and 
we must see and own that we are not sufficient 
of ourselves for any thing that is good, not so 



I 



WITH GOD. 349 

How to spend the day with God. 

much as to think a good thought: we must there- 
fore wait upon God, must seek to him, and de- 
pend upon him, for that light and fire, that wis- 
dom and zeal, which is necessary to the due dis- 
charge of our duty ; that by his grace we may 
not only be fortified against every evil word and 
work, but furnished for every good word and 
work. From the fulness that is in Jesus Christ, 
we must by faith be continually drawing grace 
for grace ; grace for all gracious exercises, grace 
to help in every time of need. We must wait on 
this grace, must follow the conduct of it, comply 
with the operations of it, and must be turned to 
it as wax to the seal. 

5. We must bear our daily afflictions with sub- 
mission to his will. We are taught to expect 
trouble in the flesh. Something or other happens 
that grieves us every day, something in our rela- 
tions, something in our callings, events concern- 
ing ourselves, our families or friends, that are mat- 
ter of sorrow : perhaps we have every day some 
bodily pain or sickness, or some cross and disap- 
pointment in our affairs ; now in these we must 
wait upon God. Christ requires it of all his dis- 
ciples, that they take up their cross daily. Matt, 
xvi. 24. We must not wilfully pluck the cross 
down upon us, but must take it up when God lays 
it in our way, and not go a step out of the way 
of duty, either to court it or to miss it. It is not 
enough to bear the cross, but we must take it up, 
we must accommodate ourselves to it, and acqui- 
esce in the will of God in it. Not, this is an evil, 



350 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



and I must bear it, because I cannot help it; but 
this is an evil, and I will bear it, because it is the 
will of God, 

We must see every affliction allotted us by our 
heavenly Father, and in it must eye his correct- 
ing hand, and therefore must wait on him to know 
the cause wherefore he contends with us, what 
the fault is for which we are in this affliction 
chastened ; what the distemper is which is to be 
by this affliction cured, that we may answer God's 
end in afflicting us, and so may be made parta- 
kers of his holiness. We must attend the mo- 
tions of Providence, keep our eye upon our Fa- 
ther when he frowns, that we may discover what 
his mind is, and what the obedience is we are to 
learn by the things that we suffer. We must wait 
on God for support under our burdens ; must put 
ourselves into, and stay ourselves upon, the ever- 
lasting arms which are laid under the children of 
God, to sustain them when the rod of God is up- 
on them. And him we must attend for deliver- 
ance j must not seek to extricate ourselves by any 
sinful indirect methods, nor look to creatures for 
relief, but still wait on the Lord until that he have 
mercy on us ; well content to bear the burden un- 
til God ease us of it, and ease us in mercy, Psal. 
cxxiii. 2. If the affliction be lengthened out, 
yet we must wait upon the Lord even when he 
hides his face, Isa. viii. 179 hoping it is but in a 
little wrath, and for a small moment, Is. liv. 7> 8* 

6. We must expect the tidings and events of 
every day with a cheerful and entire resignation 



WITH GOD. 351 

How to spend the day with God. 

to the divine Providence. While we are in this 
world, we are still expecting, hoping well, fearing 
ill ; we know not what a day, or a night, or an 
hour, may bring forth, Prov. xxvii. 1. but it is 
big with something, and we are too apt to spend 
our thoughts in vain about things future, which 
happen quite differently from what we imagined. 
Now, in all our prospects we must wait upon God. 

Are we in hopes of good tidings, a good issue? 
Let us wait on God as the giver of the good we 
hope for, and be ready to take it from his hand, 
and to meet him with suitable affections then 
when he is coming towards us in a way of mercy. 
Whatever good we hope for, it is God alone, 
and his wisdom, power, and goodness, that we 
must hope in. And therefore our hopes must 
be humble and modest, and regulated by his will. 
What God has promised us we may with assur- 
ance promise ourselves, and no more. If thus 
we wait on God in our hope, should the hope 
be deferred, it would not make the heart sick ; 
no, not if it should be disappointed^ for the God 
we wait on will over-rule all for the best. But 
when the desire comes, in prosecution of which 
we have thus waited on God, we may see it com- 
ing from his love, and it will be a tree of life, 
Prov. xiii. 12. 

Are we in fear of evil tidings, of melancholy 
events, and a sad issue of the depending affair ? 
Let us wait on God to be delivered from all our 
fears, from the things themselves we are afraid 
of, and from the amazing tormenting fears of 



352 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



*%%^%»%**^%»*^*^»%^^*^^^<^<^»'^»^^^V»»^<^%^<^< 



>*^^^»^%*%%%^%^%'%»^»%*^ 



them, Psalm xxxiv. 4. When Jacob was, with 
good reason, afraid of his brother Esau, he wait- 
ed on God, brought his fears to him, wrestled 
with him, and prevailed for deliverance. What 
time I am afraid, saith David, I will trust in thee, 
and wait on thee; and that shall establish the 
heart, shall fix it, so as to set it above the fear of 
evil tidings. 

Are we in suspense between hope and fear, 
sometimes one prevails, and sometimes the other? 
Let us wait on God, as the God to whom belong 
the issues of life and death, good and evil, from 
whom our judgment, and every man's, doth pro- 
ceed, and compose ourselves into a quiet expec- 
tation of the event, whatever it may be, with a 
resolution to accommodate ourselves to it. Hope 
the best, and get ready for the worst, and then 
take what God sends. 

For Application. 

First. Let me further urge upon you this duty 
of waiting upon God all the day, in some more 
particular instances, according to what you have 
to do all the day in the ordinary business of it. 
We are weak and forgetful, and need to be put 
in mind of our duty in general, upon every occa- 
sion for the doing of it; and therefore I choose 
to be thus particular, that I may be your remem- 
brancer. 

1. When you meet with your families in the 
morning, wait upon God for a blessing upon 
them, and attend him with your thanksgivings 
for the mercies you and yours have jointly re- 
ceived from God the night past : you and yours 



V 



WITH GOD. 353 

How to spend the day with God. 



houses must serve the Lord, must wait on him. 
See it owing to his goodness, who is the founder 
and father of the families of the righteous, that 
you are together, that the voice of rejoicing and 
salvation is in your tabernacles, and therefore 
wait upon him to continue you together, to make 
you comforts to one another, to enable you to 
do the duty of every relation, and to lengthen 
out the days of your tranquillity. In all the con- 
versation we have with our families, the provi- 
sion we make for them, and the orders we give 
concerning them, we must wait upon God, as the 
God of all the families of Israel, Jer. xxi. 1; and 
have an eye to Christ, as he in whom all the fam- 
ilies of the earth are blessed. 

Every member of the family, sharing in family 
mercies, must wait on God for grace to contri- 
bute to family duties. Whatever disagreeable- 
ness there may be in any family relation, instead 
of having the spirit either burdened with it, or 
provoked by it, let it be an inducement to wait 
on God, who is able either to redress the griev* 
ance, or to balance it, and give grace to bear it. 

2. When you are pursuing the education of 
your children, or the young ones under your 
charge, wait upon God for his grace to make the 
means of their education successful. When you 
are yourselves giving them instruction in things 
pertaining either to life or godliness, their gene- 
ral or particular calling, when you are sending 
them to school in the morning, or ordering them 
the business of the day, wait upon God to give 

12 uu 



354 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



k«««/«'«^^i^%^«^«^«>^«^'«^««««^/fc«^«%«>« %!%%<%%%< 



^^•^^■^^^^^^^^^^^v^* 



them an understanding, and a good capacity foi 
their business : Especially their main business, 
for it is God that giveth wisdom. If they are 
but slow, and do not come on as you could wish, 
yet wait on God to bring them forward, and t&' 
give them his grace in his own time ; and while 
you are patiently waiting on him, that will en- 
courage you to take pains with them, and will 
likewise make you patient and gentle towards 
them. 

And let children and young people wait on 
God in all their daily endeavours, to fit them- 
selves for the service of God and their genera- 
tion. You desire to be comforts to your rela- 
tions, to be good for something in this world, do 
you not ? — Beg of God then a wise and under- 
standing heart, as Solomon did, and wait upon 
him all the day for it, that you may be still in- 
creasing in wisdom, as you do in stature, and in 
favour with God and man. 

3. When you go to your shops, or apply your- 
selves to the business of your particular calling, 
wait upon God for his presence with you. Youi* 
business calls for your constant attendance every 
day, and all the day; keep thy shop, and thy shop 
will keep thee ; but let your attendance on God 
in your callings be as constant as your attend- 
ance on your callings. Eye God's providence 
in all the occurrences of them. Open shop with 
this thought, I am now in the way of my duty, 
and I depend upon God to bless me in it. When 
you are waiting for customers, wait on God to 



WITH GOD. 355 

How to spend the day with God. 



%/V%» V%%i»%%V%%% ^'^^.^V^^^^^V^ «^V%«« ^/^^/fc'V^O^^^^^^^*^*^*^** %% «>« V%%O^^V^%%%^*'*. 



find you something to do in that calling to which 
he hath called you. Those you call chance cus- 
tomers, you should rather call Providence cus- 
tomers, and should say of the advantage you make 
by them, the Lord my God brought it to me. 

When you are buying and selling, see God's 
eye upon you, to observe whether you are honest 
and just in your dealings, and do no wrong to 
those you deal with ; and let your eye then be 
up to him, for that discretion to which God doth 
instruct, not only the husbandman, but the trades- 
man. Is. xxviii. 26 ; that prudence which directs 
the way, and with which it is promised the good 
man shall order his affairs; for that blessing which 
makes rich, and adds no sorrow with it, for that 
honest profit which may be expected in the way 
of honest diligence. 

4. When you take a book in your hands, God's 
book, or any other useful good book, wait upon 
God for his grace to enable you to make a good 
use of it. Some of you spend a deal of time 
every day in reading, and I hope none of you 
let a day pass without reading some portion of 
scripture, either alone or with your families. 
Take heed that the time you spend in reading be 
not lost time. It is so, if you read that which is 
idle, and vain, and unprofitable ; it is so, if you 
read that which is good, even the word of God 
itself, and do not mind it, or observe it, or aim 
to make it of any advantage to you. Wait upon 
God, who gives you those helps for your souls, 
to make them helpful indeed to you. The Eu- 



356 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. jH 



1«*%*V»*^^ 



nuch did so when he was reading the book of 
the prophet Isaiah in his chariot ; and God pre- 
sently sent him one, who made him understand 
what he read. 

You read perhaps now and then the histories 
of former times. In acquainting yourselves with 
them, you must have an eye to God, and to that 
wise and gracious Providence which governed 
the world before we were born, and preserved 
the church in it, and therefore may be still de- 
pended upon to do all for the best ; for he is Is- 
rael's king of old. 

5. When you sit down to your tables, wait on 
God. See his hand spreading and preparing a 
table before you in despite of your enemies, and 
in the society of your friends ; often review the 
grant which God made to our first father Adam, 
and in him to us, of the products of the earth. 
Gen. i. 29. Behold I have given you every herb 
bearing seed, bread corn especially, to you it 
shall be for meat. And the grant he afterwards 
made to Noah, our second father, and in him to 
us, Gen. ix. 3. Every moving thing that liveth 
shall be meat for you, even as the green herb j 
and see in those what a bountiful benefactor he 
is to mankind, and wait upon him accordingly. 

6. Desire of God a blessing upon what you 
give in charity, that it may be comfortable to 
whom it is given, and that, though what you are 
able to give is but a little, like the widow's two 
mites, yet that, by God's blessing, may be doub- 
led, and made to go a great way, like the widow's 
meal in the barrel, and oil in the cruise. 



WITH GOD. 357 

How to spend the day with God. 

Depend upon God to make up to you what you 
lay out in good works, and to recompense it 
abundantly in the resurrection of the just: nay, 
and you are encouraged to wait upon him for a 
return of it even in this life; it is bread cast upon 
the waters, which you shall find again after many 
days; and you shall carefully observe the pro- 
vidence of God, whether it do not make you rich 
amends for your good works, according to the 
promise, that you may understand the loving- 
kindness of the Lord, and his faithfulness to the 
word which he hath spoken. 

7- When you inquire after public news, in 
that wait upon God; do it with an eye to him ; 
for this reason, because you are truly concerned 
for the interests of his kingdom in the world, and 
lay them near your hearts ; because you have a 
compassion for mankind, for the lives and souls 
of men, and especially of God's people. Ask 
what news, not as the Athenians, only to satisfy 
a vain curiosity, and to pass away an idle hour or 
two, but that you may know how to direct your 
prayers and praises, and how to balance your 
hopes and fears; and may gain such an under- 
standing of the times, as to learn what you and 
others ought to do. 

8. When we retire into solitude, to be alone 
walking in the fields, or alone reposing ourselves 
in our closets, still we must be waiting on God, 
still we must keep up our communion with him 
when we are communing with our hearts. When 



358 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

we are alone we must not be alone, but the Fa- 
ther must be with us, and we with him. We shall 
find temptations even in solitude, which we have 
need to guard against. Satan set upon our Sa- 
viour when he was alone in the wildernessj but 
there also we have an opportunity, if we bul 
know how to improve it, for that devout, that 
divine contemplation, which is the best conver- 
sation, so that we may never be less alone than 
when alone. If when we sit alone, and keep 
silence, withdrawn from business and conversa- 
tion, we have but the art, I should say the heart, 
to fill up those vacant minutes with pious medi-^^ 
tationsof God and divine things, we then gather ' 1 
up the fragments of time which remain, that no- 
thing may be lost, and so are we found waiting 
on God all the day. 

Secondly. Let me use some motives to per- 
suade you thus to live a life of communion with 
God, by waiting on him all the day. 

1. Consider the eye of God is always upon 
you. When we are with our superiors, and ob- 
serve them to look upon us, that engageth us to 
look upon them ; and shall we not then look up 
to God, whose eyes always behold, and whose 
eye-lids try the children of men. He sees all the 
motions of our hearts, and sees with pleasure the 
motions of our hearts towards him, which should 
engage us to set him always before us. 

The servant, though he be careless at other 
times, yet when he is under his master's eye, 
will wait in his place, and keep close to his busi- 



WITH GOD. 359 

How to spend the day with God. 

ness. We need no more to engage us to dili- 
gence, than to do our work with eye-service while 
our master looks on; and because he ever doth so, 
then we shall never look off. 

2. The God you are to wait on is one with 
whom you have to do, Heb. iv. 13. All things, 
even the thoughts and intents of the heart, are 
naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom 
we have to do; pros on emino logos, with whom 
we have business^ or word, who hath something to 
say to us, and to whom we have something to 
say; or, as some read it, to whom for us there is 
an account, there is a reckoning, a running ac- 
count between us and him : And we must every 
one of us shortly give account of ourselves to him, 
and of every thing done in the body, and there- 
fore are concerned to wait on him, that all may 
be made even daily between us and him in the 
blood of Christ, which balanceth the account. 
Did we consider how much we have to do with 
God every day, we would be more diligent and 
constant in our attendance on him. 

3. The God we are to wait upon continually 
waits to be gracious to us; he is always doing us 
good, prevents us with the blessings of his good- 
ness, daily loads us with his benefits, and slips no 
opportunity of showing his care for us when we 
are in danger; his bounty to us when we are in 
want, and his tenderness for us when we are in 
sorrow. His good providence awaits on us all 
the day, to preserve our going out and coming 
in, Isa. XXX. 18. to give us relief and succour in 



360 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

due season, to be seen in the mount of the Lord. 
Nay, his good grace waits on us all the day, to 
help us in every time of need, to be strength to 
us according as the day is, and all the occurrences 
of the day. Is Qod thus forward to do us good, 
and shall we be backward and remiss in doing 
him service? 

4. If we attend upon God, his holy angels 
shall have a charge to attend upon us. They 
are all appointed to be ministering spirits, to mi- 
nister for the good of them that shall be heirs of 
salvation, and more good offices they do us every 
day than we are aware oM What an honour, 
what a privilege is it to be waited on by holy an- 
gels, to be borne up in their arms, to be surrounded 
by their tents ! What a security is the ministra- 
tion of those good spirits against the malice of 
evil spirits ? This honour have all they that wait 
on God all the day. 

5. This life of communion with God, and 
constant attendance upon him, is a heaven upon 
earth. It is doing the work of heaven, and the 
will of God, as they do it that are in heaven, 
whose business it is always to behold the face of 
our Father. It is an earnest of the blessedness 
of heaven, it is a preparative for it, and a prelu. 
dium to it ; it is having our conversation in hea- 
ven, from whence we look for the Saviour. Look- 
ing for him as our Saviour, we look to him as our 
director, and by this we make it appear that our 
hearts are there, which will give us good ground 
to expect that we shall be there shortly. 



WITH GOD. 361 

How to spend the day with God. 

Thirdly^ Let me close with some directions, 
what you must do that you may thus wait on 
God all the day. 

1. See much of God in every creature, of his 
wisdom and power in the making and placing of 
it, and of his goodness and serviceableness to us. 
Look about you, and see what a variety of won- 
ders, what an abundance of comforts you are sur- 
rounded with J and let them all lead you to him, 
who is the fountain of being, and the giver of all 
good; all our springs are in him, and from him 
are all our streams. This will engage us to wait 
on him, since every creature is that to us which 
he makes it to be. Thus the same things which 
draw a carnal heart from God, will lead a gracious 
soul to him ; and since all his works praise him, 
his saints will from hence take continual occa- 
sion to bless him. 

It was (they say) the custom of the pious Jews 
of old, whatever delight they took in any crea- 
ture, to give to God the glory of it. When they 
smelled a flower, they said. Blessed be he that 
made this flower sweet ; if they ate a morsel of 
bread, Blessed be he that appointed bread to 
strengthen man's heart. If thus we taste in every 
thing that the Lord is gracious, and suck all satis- 
faction from the breasts of his bounty (and some 
derive his name from Mammd)^ we shall thereby 
be engaged constantly to depend on him, as the 
child is said to hang on the mother*s breast. 

2. See every creature to be nothing without 
12 X X 



362 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



God. The more we discern of the vanity and 
emptiness of the world, and all our enjoyments in 
it, and their utter insufficiency to make us happy, 
the closer we shall cleave to God, and the more 
intimately we shall converse with him, that we 
may find that satisfaction in the Father of spirits, 
which we have in vain sought for in the things 
of sense. What folly is it to make our court to 
the creatures, and to dance attendance at their 
door, whence we are sure to be sent away empty, 
when we have the Creator himself to go to, who 
is rich in mercy to all that call upon him, is full, 
and free, and faithful. What can we expect 
from lying vanities ? Why then should we ob- 
serve them, and neglect our own mercies? Why 
should we trust to broken reeds, when we have 
a rock of ages to be the foundation of our hopes ? 
And why should we draw from broken cisterns, 
when we have the God of all consolation to be 
the foundation of our joys. 

3. Live by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We 
cannot with any confidence wait upon God but 
in and through a Mediator, for it is by his Son 
that God speaks to us, and hears from us. All 
that passeth between a just God and poor sinners, 
must pass through the hands of that blessed days- 
man, who has laid his hand upon them both ; 
every prayer passeth from us to God, and every 
mercy from God to us by that hand. It is in the 
face of the Anointed that God looks upon us ; 
and in the face of Jesus Christ that we behold 
the glory and grace of God shiningj it is by Christ 



I 



WITH GOD. 363 

How to spend the day with God. 

^^■V* »**♦♦*%*** »^*/V»^».**%'** *»**♦*****♦* ♦^*'V*******^'******'»^ ************** 

that we have access to God, and success with him 
in prayer, and therefore we must make mention of 
his righteousness, even of his only. And in that 
habitual attendance we must be all the day living 
upon God; we must have a constant dependence 
on him, who always appears in the presence of 
God for us, always gives attendance to be ready 
to introduce us. 

4. Look upon every day as those who know 
not but it may be your last day. At such an 
hour as we think not the Son of man comes; and 
therefore we cannot any morning be sure that 
we shall live until night. We hear of many lately 
that have been snatched away very suddenly. 
What manner of persons therefore ought we to be 
in all holy conversation and godliness ? Though 
we cannot say, we ought to live as if we were 
sure this day would be our last; yet it is certain, 
we ought to live as those who do not kno# but 
it may be so ; and the rather, because we know 
the day of the Lord will come first or last ; and 
therefore we are concerned to wait on him. For 
on whom should poor dying creatures wait, but 
on a living God. 

Death will bring us all to God, to be judged 
by him; it will bring all the saints to him to the 
vision and fruition of him ; and one we are has- 
tening to, and hope to be for ever with, we are 
concerned to wait upon, and to cultivate an ac- 
quaintance with. Did we think more of death, 
we would converse more with God. Our dying 
daily, is a good reason for our worshipping daily; 



364 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

and therefore wherever we are, we are concerned 
to keep near to God, because we know not where 
death will meet us; this will alter the property of 
death. Enoch, that walked with God, was trans- 
lated that he should not see death ; and this will 
furnish us with that which will stand us instead 
on the other side of death and the grave. If we 
continue waiting on God every day, and all the 
day long, we shall grow more experienced, and 
consequently more expert in the great mystery 
of communion with Godj and thus our last days 
will become our best days, our last works our 
best works, and our last comforts our sweetest 
comforts. In consideration of which take the 
prophet's advice, Hos. xii. 6, " Turn thou to thy 
Godj keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy 
God continually. 



THE 

THIRD DISCOURSE; 

SHOWING 

HOW TO CLOSE THE DAY WITH GOD. 

Psalm iv. 8. 

/ will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for thou, Lord^ 
only makest me to dwell in safety. 

This may be understood either figuratively, of 
the repose of the soul in the assurance of God's 
grace ; or literally, of the repose of the body un- 
der the protection of his providence. I love to 
give Scripture its full latitude, and therefore 
alike in both. 

1. The Psalmist having given the preference 
to God's favour above any good, having chosen 
that, and portioned himself in that, here express- 
eth his great complacency in the choice he had 
made. While he saw many making themselves 
perpetually uneasy with that fruitless inquiry, 
who will show us any good? wearying themselves 
for every vanity ; he had made himself perfectly 
easy, by casting himself on the divine good-will, — 
•* Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance 
upon us." Any good, short of God's favour, will 
not serve our turn ; but that is enough, without 
the world's smiles. The moon and stars, and all 
the fires and candles in the world, will not make 
day without the sun; but the sun will make day 
without any of them. These are David's sen- 



■»^%%»%%%%%%»%»»^ 



366 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 

timents, and all the saints agree with him. Find- 
ing no rest, therefore, like Noah's dove in the 
deluge defiled world, he flies to the ark, that type 
of Christ; return unto thy rest, unto thy Noah 
(so the word is in the original, for Noah's name 
signifies rest), O my soul. Psalm cxvi. 7. 

If God lift up the light of his countenance 
upon us, as it fills us with a holy joy, it puts glad- 
ness into the heart more than they have whose 
corn and wine increaseth, ver. 7, so it fixeth us 
in a holy rest ; I will now lay me down and sleep. 
God is my God, and I am pleased, I am satisfied, 
I look no further, I desire no more, I dwell in 
safety, or in confidence, while I walk in the 
light of the Lord ; as I want no good, nor am sen- 
sible of any deficiency, so I fear no evil, nor am 
apprehensive of any danger. The Lord God is to 
me both a sun and shield ; a sun to enlighten and 
comfort me, a shield to protect and defend me. 

Hence learn, that those who have the assur- 
ances of God's favour towards them, may enjoy, 
and should labour after, a holy serenity and se- 
curity of mind. We have both these put toge- 
ther in that precious promise, Isaiah xxxii. I7. 
But the work of righteousness shall be peace ; 
there is a present satisfaction in doing good; and, 
in the issue, the eflFect of righteousness shall be 
quietness and assurance for ever; quietness in 
the enjoyment of good, and assurance in a free- 
dom from evil. 

1. A holy serenity is one blessed fruit of God's 
favour. " I will now lay me down in peace, and 




1 



WITH GOD. 367 

How to spend the day with God. 

sleep. While we are under God's displeasure, or 
in doubt concerning his favour, how can we have 
any enjoyment of ourselves! While this great 
concern is unsettled, the soul cannot be satisfied. 
Hath God a controversy with thee ? Give not 
sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eye-lids, 
until thou hast got the controversy taken up. 
Go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend, 
thy best friend, Prov. vi. 34<, and when thou hast 
made thy peace with him, and hast some comfort- 
able evidence that thou art accepted of him, then 
say wisely and justly, what that carnal world- 
ling said foolishly, and without ground. Soul, 
take thy ease, for in God, and in the covenant 
of his grace, thou hast goods laid up for many 
years, goods laid up for eternity, Luke xii. I9. 
Are thy sins pardoned ? Hast thou an interest 
in Christ's mediation ? Doth God now in him 
accept thy works? Go thy way, and eat thy 
bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry 
heart, Eccl. ix. 7« Let this still every storm, and 
command and create a calm in thy soul. 

Having God to be our God in covenant, we 
have enough, we have all ; and though the gra- 
cious soul still desires more of God, it never de- 
sires more than God; in him it reposeth itself with 
a perfect complacency; in him it is at home, it is 
at rest ; if we be but satisfied of his loving-kind- 
ness, we may be satisfied with his loving-kind- 
ness, abundantly satisfied. There is enough in 
this to satiate the weary soul, and to replenish 
every sorrowful soul, Jer. xxxi. 25, to fill even the 



368 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to spend the day with God. 



hungry with good things, with the best things ; 
and being filled, they should be at rest, at rest 
for ever, and their sleep here should be sweet. 

2. A holy security is another blessed fruit of 
God's favour. Thou, Lord, makest me to dwell 
in safety; when the light of thy countenance 
shines upon me, I am safe, and I know I am so, 
and am therefore easy, for with thy favour wilt 
thou compass me as with a shield, Psalm v. 12, 
being taken under the protection of the divine 
favour. Though a host of enemies should en- 
camp against me, yet my heart shall not fear, in 
this I will be confident, Psalm xxvii. 3. What- 
ever God has promised me, I can promise my- 
self, and that is enough to indemnify me, and 
save me harmless, whatever difficulties and dan- 
gers I may meet with in the way of my duty. 
Though the earth be moved, yet will not we fear, 
Psalm xlvi. 2, not fear any evil, no, not in the 
valley of the shadow of death, in the territories 
of the king of terrors himself; for there thou art 
with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

What the rich man's wealth is to him, in his 
own conceit, a strong city, and a high wall, that 
the good man's God is to him, Prov. xviii. 10, 
11. The Almighty shall be thy gold, thy de- 
fence, Job xxii. 25. 

Nothing is more dangerous than security in a 
sinful way, and men's crying, peace, peace, to 
themselves, while they continue under the reign- 
ing power of a vain and carnal mind. O that 
the sinners that are at ease w^ere made to trem- 



WITH GOD. 369 

How to close the day with God. 



%«%«%%«%'%^««%%«««««^«%«^ %««%«« V««^«'««««««%'%'«'V«%'V«.%%««^ 



ble. Nothing is more foolish than a security built 
upon the world and its promises, for they are all 
vanity and a lie; but nothing more reasonable in 
itself, or more advantageous to us, than for good 
people to build with assurance upon the promises 
of a good God; for those that keep in the way of 
duty, to be quiet from the fear of evil; as those 
that know no evil shall befall them, no real evil; 
no evil but what shall be made to work for their 
good; as those that know, while they continue 
in their allegiance to God as their king, they 
are under his protection, under the protection 
of Omnipotence itself, which enables them to 
bid defiance to all malignant powers. If God be 
for us, who can be against us ? This security 
even the heathen looked upon every honest vir- 
tuous man to be entitled to, that is, Integer vUce 
celerisque purus, and thought if the world should 
fall in pieces about his ears, he needed not fear 
being lost in the desolations of it, Et si fractus 
illabatur orhis, Impavidum ferient ruincv ; much 
more reason have Christians, who hold fast their 
integrity, to lay claim to it; for who is he, or what 
is it that shall harm us, if we be followers of him 
that is good in his goodness? 

Now, (I.) It is the privilege of good people 
that they may be thus easy and satisfied. This 
holy serenity and security of mind is allowed 
them, God gives them leave to be cheerful; nay, 
it is promised them, God will speak peace to his 
people, and to his saints ; he will fill them with 
joy and peace in believing ; his peace shall keep 

1^> Y y 



370 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

their hearts and minds ; keep them safe, keep ^^| 
them calm. Nay, there is a method appointed 
for their obtaining this promised serenity and 
security. The scriptures are written to them, 
that their joy may be full, and that through pa- 
tience and comfort of them they may have hope. 
Ordinances are instituted to be wells of salva- 
tion, out of which they may draw water with joy. 
Ministers are ordained to be their comforters, 
and the helpers of their joy. Thus willing has 
God been to show to the heirs of promise the im- 
mutability of his counsel, that they might have 
strong consolation, Heb. vi. 17, IS. 

(2.) It is the duty of good people to labour 
after this holy security and serenity of mind, and, 
to use the means appointed for the obtaining of it. 
Give not way to the disquieting suggestions of 
Satan, and to those tormenting doubts and fears 
that arise in your own souls. Study to be quiet, 
chide yourselves for your distrusts, charge your- 
selves to believe and to hope in God, that you 
shall praise him. You are in the dark concerning 
yourselves ; do as Paul's mariners did, cast an- 
chor, and wish for the day. Poor trembling Chris- 
tian, that art tossed with tempests, and not com- 
forted, try to lay thee down in peace and sleep ; 
compose thyself into a sedate and even frame ; 
in the name of him whom winds and seas obey, 
command down thy tumultuous thoughts, and 
say. Peace, be still; lay thy aching trembling head 
of thine where the beloved disciple laid his, in 
the bosom of the Lord Jesus; or, if thou hast not 
yet attained such boldness of access to him, lay 



WITH GOD. 371 

How to close the day with God. 

that aching trembling head of thine at the feet 
of the Lord Jesus, by an entire submission and 
resignation to him, saying, if I perish, I will per- 
ish here; put it into his hand by an entire confi- 
dence in him; submit it to his operation and dis- 
posal, who knows how to speak to the heart. 
And if thou art not yet entered into the sabba- 
tism, as the word is, Heb. iv. 9; this present rest 
that remaineth for the people of God, yet look 
upon it to be a land of promise, and therefore, 
though it tarry, wait for it, for the vision is for 
an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak, 
and shall not lie. Light is sown for the righte- 
ous, and what is sown shall come up again at 
last in a harvest of joy. 

2. The Psalmist having done his day's work, 
and perhaps fatigued himself with it, it being 
now bed-time, and he having given good advice 
to those to whom he had wished a good night, 
to commune with their own hearts upon their 
beds, and to offer the evening sacrifice of right- 
eousness, ver. 4, 5, now retires to his chamber, 
with this word, **I will lay me down in peace and 
sleep." That which I chose this text for, will 
lead me to understand it literally, as the disciples 
understood their Master, when he said, Lazarus 
sleepeth, of taking rest in sleep, John xi. 12, 13. 
And so we have here David's pious thoughts 
when he was going to bed : As when he awakes 
he is still with God, he is still so when he goes 
to sleep, and concludes the day, as he opened it, 
with meditations on God, and sweet communion 
with him. 



37^ DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

It should seem David penned this Psahn when 
he was distressed and persecuted by his enemies ; 
perhaps it was penned on the same occasion 
with the foregoing Psalm, when he fled from 
Absalom his son. Without were fightings, and 
then no wonder that within were fears; yet then 
he puts such a confidence in God's protection, 
that he will go to bed at his usual time, and with 
his usual quietness and cheerfulness will compose 
himself as at other times. He knows his enemies 
have no power against him but what is given 
them from above, and they shall have no power 
given them but what is still under the divine 
check and restraint; nor shall their power be per- 
mitted to exert itself, so far as to do him any real 
mischief; and therefore he retires into the secret 
place of the Most High, and abides under the 
shadow of the Almighty, and is very quiet in his 
own mind. That will break a worldly man's 
heart which will not break a godly man's sleep : 
Let them do their worst, saith David, I will lay 
me down and sleep; the will of the Lord be done. 
Now observe here, 

1. His confidence in God: "Thou, Lord, mak- 
est me to dwell in safety ;" not only makest me 
safe, but makest me to know that I am so; mak- 
est me to dwell with a good assurance. It is the 
same word that is used concerning him that walks 
uprightly, that he walks surely, Prov. x. 9. He 
goes boldly in his way; so David here goes boldly 
to his bed. He doth not carelessly, as the men, 
of Laish, Judg. xviii. 7» but dwells at ease in God, 



WITH GOD. 373 

How to close the day with God. 

as the sons of Zion, in the city of their solem- 
nities, when their eyes see it a quiet habitation, 
Isa. xxxiii. 20. 

There is one word in this part of the text that 
is observable; thou, Lord, only dost secure me 
Some refer it to David ; even when 1 am alone, 
have none of my privy counsellors about me to ad- 
vise me, none of my life-guards to fight for me, yet 
I am under no apprehension of danger while God 
is with me. The Son of David comforted him- 
self with this, that when all his disciples forsook 
him, and left him alone, yet he was not alone, for 
the Father was with him. Some weak people are 
afraid of being alone, especially in the dark : but 
a firm belief of God's presence with us in all 
places, and that divine protection, which all good 
people are under, would silence those fears, and 
make us ashamed of them. Nay, our being alone 
a peculiar people, whom God hath set apart for 
himself, (as it is here, ver. 3.) will be our securi- 
ty. A sober singularity will be our safety and sa- 
tisfaction, as Noah's was in the old world. Israel 
is a people that shall dwell alone, and not be rec- 
koned among the nations, and therefore may set 
them all at defiance till they foolishly mingle them- 
selves among them. Num. xxiii. 9. Israel shall 
then dwell in safety alone, Deut. xxxiii. 28. The 
more we dwell alone, the more safe we dwell. But 
our translation refers it to God : Thou alone mak- 
est me to dwell safely. It is done by thee only. 
God, in protecting his people, needs not any as- 
sistance, though he sometimes makes use of in- 



374f DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

struments. The earth helped the woman; yet 
he can do it without them; and when all other 
refuges fail, his own arm works salvation. So 
the Lord alone did lead him, and there was 
no strange god with him, Deut. xxxii. 12. yet 
that is not all, I depend on thee only to do it; 
therefore I am easy, and think myself safe, not 
because I have hosts on my side, but purely be- 
cause I have the Lord of hosts on my side. 

Thou makest me to dwell in safety, that I 
may look either backward or forward, or rather 
both. Thou hast made me to dwell in safety all 
day, so that the sun has not smitten me by day; 
and then it is the language of his thankfulness 
for the mercies he had received; or, thou wilt 
make me to dwell in safety all night, that the moon 
shall not smite me by night: and then it is the 
language of his dependence upon God for further 
mercies ; and both these should go together ; and 
our eye must be to God as ever the same, who 
was, and is, and is to come; who has delivered, 
and doth, and will. 

2. His composedness in himself inferred from 
hence, I will both lay me down and sleep : Simul 
or pariier in pace cubaho. They that have their 
corn and wine increasing, that have abundance 
of the wealth and pleasure of this world, they lay 
them down and sleep contentedly, as Boaz did 
at the end of the heap of corn, Ruth iii. 7- But 
though I have not what they have, I can lay me 
down in peace, and sleep as well as they. We 
make it to join, his lying down and his sleeping; 



WITH GOD. S75 

How to close the day with God. 

I will not only lay me down as one that desires 
to be composed, but will sleep as one that really 
is so. Some make it to intimate his falling asleep 
presently after he had laid him down; so well 
wearied was he with the work of the day, and so 
free from any of those disquieting thoughts which 
would keep him from sleeping. 

Now these are words put into our mouths, 
with which to compose ourselves when we retire 
at night to our repose ; and we should take care 
so to manage ourselves all day, especially when 
it draws towards night, as that we may not be 
unfitted, and put out of frame for our evening 
devotions; that our hearts may not be overcharg- 
ed, either, on the one hand, with surfeiting and 
drunkenness, as their's often are that are men of 
pleasure; or, on the other hand, with the cares of 
this life, as their's often are that are men of busi- 
ness. But that we may have such a command, 
both of our thoughts and of our time, as that we 
may finish our daily work well, which will be an 
earnest of our finishing our life's work well; and 
all is well indeed that ends everlastingly well. 

DocL As we must begin the day with God, 
and wait upon him all the day, so we must 
endeavour to close it with him. 

This duty of closing the day with God, and in 
a good frame, I know not better how to open to 
you, than by going over the particulars in the 
text in their order, and recommending to you 
David's example. 

First, Let us retire to lay us down: nature calls 



376 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 



for rest as well as food ; man goes forth to his 
work and labour, and goes to and fro about it ; 
but it is only until evening, and then it is time 
to lie down. We read of Ishbosheth, that he lay 
on his bed at noon, but death met him there, 2 
Sam. iv. 5, 6; and of David himself, that he came 
off from his bed at evening-tide; but sin, a worse 
thing than death, met him there, 2 Sam. xi. 2. 
We must work the works of him that sent us 
while it is day, it will be time enough to lie down 
when the night comes, and no man can work ; 
and it is then proper and seasonable to lie down. 
It is promised, Zeph. ii. 7, ** They shall lie down 
in the evening;" and with that promise we must 
comply, and rest in the time appointed for rest, 
and not turn day into night, and night into day, 
as many do upon some ill account or other. 

1. Some sit up to do mischief to their neigh- 
bours; to kill, and steal, and to destroy. In the 
dark they dig through houses which they had mark- 
ed for themselves in the day time. Job xxiv. 16. 
David complains of his enemies that at evening 
they go round about the city, Psal. lix. 6. They 
that do evil hate the light. Judas the traitor was 
in quest of his master with his band of men, when 
he should have been in his bed. And it is an ag- 
gravation of the wickedness of the wicked, when 
they take so much pains to compass an ill design, 
and have their hearts so much upon it, that they 
sleep not except they have done mischief, Prov. 
iv. l6. As it is a shame to those who profess to 
make it their business to do good, that they can- 



WITH GOD. 377 

How to close the day with God. 

not find in their hearts to entrench upon any of 
the gratifications of sense in pursuance of it. 

Ut jugulent Homines surgunt de node LatroneSy 
Tuque ut te serves non expergisceris ? 

Say then, while others sit up watching for an op- 
portunity to be mischievous, I will lay nie down 
and be quiet, and do nobody any harm. 

2. Others sit up in pursuit of the world, and 
the wealth of it. They not only rise up early^ 
but they sit up late, in the eager prosecution of 
their covetous practices, Psalm cxxvii. 2. and 
either to get or save, deny themselves their most 
necessary sleep ; and this their way is their folly, 
for hereby they deprive themselves of the com- 
fortable enjoyment of what they have, which is 
the end, under pretence of care and pains to ob- 
tain more, which is but the means. Solomon 
speaks of those that neither day nor night sleep 
with their eyes, Eccl. viii. 16, that make them- 
selves perfect slaves and drudges to the world, 
than which there is not a more cruel task-master; 
and thus they make that which of itself is vanity, 
to be to them vexation of spirit, for they weary 
themselves for very vanity, Hab. ii. 13, and are 
so miserably in love with their chain, that they 
deny themselves not only the spiritual rest God 
has provided for them as the God of grace, but 
the natural rest, which, as the God of nature, 
he has provided; and is a specimen of the wrong 
sinners do to their own bodies, as well as their 
own souls. Let us see the folly of it, and never 
labour thus for the meat that perisheth, and 
12 zz 



378 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

that abundance of the rich which will not suffer 
him to sleep; but let us labour for that meat 
which endureth to eternal life, that grace which 
is the earnest of glory, the abundance of which 
will make our sleep sweet to us. 

3. Others sit up in the indulgence of their plea- 
sures; they will not lay them down in due time, 
because they cannot find in their hearts to leave 
their vain sports and pastimes, their music and 
dancing and plays, their cards and dice; or, which 
is worse, their rioting and excess; for they that 
are drunk are drunk in the night. It is bad 
enough when these gratifications of a base lust, or 
at least of a vain mind, are suffered to devour 
the whole evening, and then to engross the whole 
soul, as they are apt enough to do insensibly; so 
that there is neither time nor heart for the even- 
ing devotions, either in the closet or in the family: 
But it is much worse when they are suffered to 
go far into the night too, for then, of course, 
they trespass upon the ensuing morning, and steal 
away the time that should then also be bestowed 
upon the exercises of religion. Those that can, 
of choice, and with so much pleasure, sit up until 
1 know not what time of night, to make, as they 
say, a merry night of it, to spend their time in 
filthiness, and foolish talking and jesting, which 
are notconvenient, would think themselves hardly 
dealt with if they should be kept one half hpur 
past tiieir sleeping time, engaged in any good 
duties, and would have called blessed Paul him- 
self a long-winded preacher, and have censured 



I 



WITH GOD. 379 

How to close the day with God. 



him as very indiscreet, when, upon a particular 
occasion, he continued his speech till midnight, 
Acts XX. 7. And how loath woifld they be, with 
David, at midnight, to rise and give thanks to 
God; or, with their. Master, to continue all night 
in prayer to God. 

Let the corrupt affections, which run out thus 
and transgress, be mortified, and not gratified. 
Those who have indulged themselves in such ir- 
regularities, if they have allowed themselves an 
impartial reflection, cannot but have found the 
inconvenience of them, and that they have been 
a prejudice to the prosperity of the soul, and 
should therefore deny themselves for their own 
good. One rule for the closing of the day well, 
is to keep good hours. Every thing is beautiful 
in its season. I have heard it said long since, 
and I beg leave to repeat it now, that 

Early to bed and early to rise, 

Is the way to be heahhy, and wealthy and wise. 

We shall now take it for granted, that unless 
some necessary business, or some work of mercy, 
or some more than ordinary act of devotion, 
keep you up beyond your usual time, you are dis- 
posed to lay you down. And let us lay us down 
with thankfulness to God, and with thoughts of 
dying; with penitent reflections upon the sins of 
the day, and with humble supplications for the 
mercies of the night. 

1. Let us lie down with thankfulness to God. 
When we retire to our bed-chambers or closets, 
we should lift up our hearts to God, the God of 



380 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

our mercies, and make him the God of our praises 
when we go to bed. I am sure we do not 
want matter for praise, if we do not want a heart. 
Let us therefore address ourselves to that pleasant 
duty, that work which is its own wages. The 
evening sacrifice was to be a sacrifice of praise. 

(1.) We have reason to be thankful for the 
many mercies of the day past, which we ought 
particularly to review, and to say, ** Blessed be 
the Lord who daily loadeth us with his benefits." 
Observe the constant series of mercies, which 
has not been interrupted, or broken in upon, any 
day. Observe the particular instances of mercy 
with which some days have been signalized and 
made remarkable. It is he that has granted us 
life and favour; it is his visitation that preserves 
our spirits. Think how many are the calamities 
we are every day preserved from, the calamities 
which we are sensibly exposed to, and perhaps 
have been delivered from the imminent danger of, 
and those which we have not been apprehensive 
of; many of which we have deserved, and which 
others, better than we are, grown under. All 
our bones have reason to say. Lord, who is like 
unto thee ? For it is God that keepeth all our 
bones, not one of them is broken. It is of his 
mercies that we are not consumed. 

Think how many are the comforts we every 
day receive, for all of which we are indebted 
to the bounty of divine providence. Every bit 
we eat, and every drop we drink, is mercy; every 
step we take, and every breath we draw, is mercy. 



WITH GOD. 381 

How to close the day with God. 

All the satisfaction we have in the agreeableness 
and affections of our relations, and in the so- 
ciety and serviceableness of our friends: All the 
success we have in our callings and employ- 
ments, and the pleasure we take in them : All 
the joy which Zebulon has in his going out, and 
Issachar in his tents, is what we have reason to 
acknowledge with thankfulness to God's praise. 

Yet it is likely the day has not passed without 
some cross accidents, something or other has af- 
flicted and disappointed us; and if it has, yet 
that must not indispose us for praise ; however it 
be, yet God is good, and it is our duty in every 
thing to give thanks, and to bless the name of 
the Lord, when he takes away as well as when 
he gives; for our afflictions are but few, and a 
thousand times deserved ; our mercies are many, 
and a thousand times forfeited. 

(2.) We have reason to be thankful for the 
shadows of the evening, which call us to retire 
and lie down. The same wisdom, power, and 
goodness, that makes the morning, makes the 
evening also to rejoice; and gives us cause to be 
thankful for the drawing of the curtains of the 
night about us in favour of our repose, as well as 
for the opening of the eye-lids of the morning 
upon us in favour of our business. When God 
divided between the light and the darkness, and 
allotted to both of them their time successively, 
he saw that it was good it should be so. In a 
world of mixtures and changes, nothing more 
proper. Let us therefore give thanks to God, 



382 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

who forms the light and creates the darkness ; 
and believe, that ♦as in the revolutions of time, 
so in the revolutions of the events of time, the 
darkness of affliction may be as needful for us in 
its season as the light of prosperity. If the hire- 
ling longs until the shadow comes, let him be 
thankful for it when it doth come, that the bur- 
den and heat of the day is not perpetual. 

(3,) We have reason to be thankful for a quiet 
habitation to lie down in; that we are not driven 
out from among men, as Nebuchadnezzar, to lie 
down with the beasts of the field ; that though 
we were born like the wild ass' colt, yet we have 
not, with the wild ass, the wilderness for our ha- 
bitation, and the desolate and barren land for our 
dwelling. That we are not to wander in deserts 
and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth, 
as many of God's dear saints and servants have 
been forced to do, of whom the world was not 
worthy : But the good Shepherd makes us lie 
down in green pastures : That we have not, as 
Jacob, the cold ground for our bed, and a stone 
for our pillow; which yet one would be content 
with, and covet, if with it one could have his 
dream. 

(4.) We have reason to be thankful that we 
are not forced to sit up, that our Master not 
only gives us leave to lie down, but orders that 
nothing shall prevent our lying down. Many 
go to bed, but cannot lie down there by reason 
of painful and languishing sicknesses, of that na- 
ture, that if they lie down they cannot breathe. 



WITH GOD. 383 

How to close the day with God. 

Our bodies are of the same mould, and it is of 
the Lord's mercies that we are not so afflicted. 
Many are kept up by sickness in their families : 
children are ill, and they must attend them. If 
God takes sickness away from the midst of us, 
and keeps it away, so that no plague comes near 
our dwellings, a numerous family, perhaps, and 
all well, it is a mercy we are bound to be very 
thankful for, and to value in proportion to the 
greatness of the affliction where sickness prevails. 
Many are kept up by the fear of enemies, of sol- 
diers, of thieves. The good man of the house 
watcheth that his house may not be broken 
through; but our lying down is not prevented or 
disturbed by the alarms of war, we are delivered 
from the noise of archers in the places of repose ; 
therefore should we rehearse the righteous acts 
of the Lord, even his righteous acts towards the 
inhabitants of his villages in Israel, which, under 
his protection, are as safe as walled cities with 
gates and bars. When we lie down, let us thank 
God that we may lie down. 

2. Let us lie down with thoughts of death, and 
of that great change which at death we must pass 
under. The conclusion of every day should put 
us in mind of the conclusion of all our days; when 
our night comes, our long nighty which will put 
a period to our work, and bring the honest la- 
bourer both to take his rest and receive his penny. 
It is good for us to think frequently of dying, 
to think of it as oft as we go to bed. It will help 
to mortify the corruptions of our own hearts, 



384 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 



which are daily burdens, to arm us against the 
temptations of the world, which are our daily 
snares; it will wean us from our daily comforts, jl 
and make us easy under our daily crosses and fa- 
tigues. Jt is good for us to think familiarly of 
dying, to think of it as our going to bed, that 
by thinking often of it, and thinking thus of it, 
we may get above the fear of it. 

(1.) At death we shall retire, as we do at bed- 
time; we shall go to be private for a while, until 
the public appearance at the great day. Man 
lieth down, and riseth not until the heavens be 
no more, until then they shall not awake, nor be 
raised out of their sleep. Job xiv. 12. Now we 
go abroad to see and be seen, and to no higher 
purpose do some spend their day, spend their life; 
but when death comes, there is an end of both; 
we shall then see no more in this world : I shall 
behold man no more, Isa. xxxviii. 11. we shall 
then be seen no more ; the eye of him that hath 
seen me, shall see me no more, Job vii. 8. we shall 
be hid in the grave, and cut off from all living. 
To die is to bid good night to all our friends, to 
put a period to ourconversation with them ; we 
bid them farewell ; but blessed be God it is not 
an eternal farewell. We hope to meet them 
again in the morning of the resurrection, to part 
no more, 

(2.) At death we shall put off the body, as we 
put off our clothes when we lie down. The soul 
is the man, the body is but clothes ; at death we 
shall be unclothed, the earthly house of this ta- 



WITH GOD. 585 

How to close the day with God. 



bernacle shall be dissolved, the garment of the 
body shall be laid aside; death strips us, and sends 
us naked out of the world as we came into it ; 
strips the soul of all the disguises wherein it ap- 
peared before men, that it may appear naked and 
open before God. Our grave clothes are night 
clothes. 

(3.) At death we shall lie down in the grave as 
our bed, shall lie down in the dust, Job xx. 11. 
To those that die in sin, and impenitent, the 
grave is a dungeon; their iniquities which are 
upon their bodies, and which lie down with them, 
make it so; but to those that die in Christ, that 
die in faith, it is a bed, a bed of rest, where there 
is no tossings to and fro until the dawning of the 
day, as sometimes there are upon the easiest beds 
we have in this world, where there is no danger 
of being scared with dreams, and terrified with 
visijjns of the night, there is no being chastened 
with pain on that bed, or the multitude of the 
bones with strong pain. It is the privilege of 
those, who, while they live, walk in their up- 
rightness, that when they die they enter into 
peace, and rest in their beds, Isa. Ivii. 2. Holy 
Job comforts himself with this, in the midst of his 
agonies, that he shall shortly make his bed in 
the darkness, and be easy there. It is a bed of 
roses, a bed of spices, to all believers ever since 
he lay in it, who is the rose of Sharon, and the 
lily of the valleys. 

Say then of thy grave, as thou dost of thy bed 
at night, there the weary are at rest ; with this 

IS 3 a 



886 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

further consolation, that thou shalt not only rest 
there, but rise thence shortly, abundantly refresh- 
ed, shalt be called up to meet the beloved of thy 
soul, and to be for ever with him; shalt rise to a 
day which will not renew thy cares, as every day 
on earth doth, but secure to thee unmixed and 
everlasting joys. How comfortably may we lie 
down at night, if such thoughts as these lie down 
with us; and how comfortably may we lie down 
at death, if we have accustomed ourselves to such 
thoughts as these. 

3. Let us lie down with penitent reflections 
upon the sins of the day past. Praising God, and 
delighting ourselves in him, is such pleasant work, 
and so much the work of angels, that methinks 
it is a pity we should have any thing else to do; 
but the truth is, we make other work for our- 
selves by our own folly, that is not so pleasant, 
but absolutely needful, and that is repentance. 
While we are at night solacing ourselves in God*s 
goodness, yet we must intermix therewith the 
afflicting of ourselves for our own badness; both 
must have their place in us, and they will very 
well agree together; for we must take our work 
before us. 

(1.) We must be convinced of it, that we are 
still contracting guilt. We carry corrupt natures 
about with us, which are bitter roots that bear 
gall and wormwood, and all we say or do is im- 
bittered by them. In many things we all offend, 
insomuch that there is not a just man upon earth, 
that doeth good and sins not. We are in the midst 
of a defiling world, and cannot keep ourselves 



I 



WITH GOD. 387 

How to close the day with God. 



perfectly unspotted from it. If we say we have 
no sin, or that we have passed a day and have 
not sinned, we deceived ourselves; for if we know 
the truth by ourselves, we shall see cause to cry, 
Who can understand his errors? cleanse us from 
our secret faults, faults which we ourselves are 
not aware of. We ought to aim at a sinless per- 
fection, with as strict a watchfulness as if we 
could attain it: But, after all, we must acknow- 
ledge that we come short of it; that we have not 
yet attained, neither are already perfect. We 
find it by constant sad experience, for it is cer- 
tain we do enough every day to bring us upon 
our knees at night. 

(2.) We must examine our consciences, that 
we may find out our particular transgressions the 
day past. Let us every night search and try our 
ways, our thoughts, words, and actions, compare 
them with the rule of the word, look our faces 
in that glass, that we may see our spots, and may 
be particular in the [acknowledgment of them. 
It will be good for us to ask, What have we 
done this day? What have we done amiss? What 
duty have we neglected? What false step have 
we taken ? How have we carried it in our call- 
ings, in our converse ? Have we done the du- 
ties of our particular relations, and accommoda- 
ted ourselves to the will of God in every event of 
providence ? By doing this frequently, we shall 
grow in our acquaintance with ourselves, than 
which nothing will contribute more to our soul's 
prosperity. 



S88 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

(3.) We must renew our repentance for what- 
ever we find lias been amiss in us, or has been 
said or done amiss by us. We must be sorry for 
it, and sadly lament it, and take shame to our- 
selves for it, and give glory to God by making 
confession. If any thing appear to have been 
wrong more than ordinary, that must be particu- 
larly bewailed; and, in general, we must be mor- 
tified for our sins of daily infirmity, which we 
ought not to think slightly of because they are re- 
turning daily, but rather be the more ashamed 
of them, and of that fountain within, which casts 
out these waters. 

It is good to be speedy in renewing our repent- 
ance, before the heart be hardened by the de- 
ceitfulness of sin. Delays are dangerous, green 
wounds may soon be cured, if taken in time, but 
if they stink and are corrupt, as the Psalmist com- 
plains, Psal. xxxviii.5, it is our fault and folly, 
and the cure will be difficult. Though, through 
the weakness of the flesh, we fall into sin daily, 
if we get up again by renewed repentance at night, 
we are not, nor ought we to think ourselves ut- 
terly cast down. The sin that humbles us shall 
not ruin us. 

(k) We must make a fresh application of the 
blood of Christ to our souls for the remission of 
our sins, and the gracious acceptance of our 
repentance. We must not think that we have 
need of Christ only at our first conversion to 
God; no, we have daily need of him, as our ad- 
vocate with the Father, and therefore, as such, 
he always appears in the presence of God for 



WITH GOD. 389 

How to close the day with God. 

us, and attends continually to this very thing. 
Even our sins of daily infirmity would be our 
ruin, if he had not made satisfaction for them, 
and did not still make intercession for us. He 
that is washed, still needeth to wash his feet 
from the filth he contracts in every step ; and, 
blessed be God, there is a fountain opened for us 
to wash in, and it is always open. 

(5.) Let us lie down with humble supplications 
for the mercies of the night. Prayer is as ne- 
cessary in the evening as it was in the morning; 
for we have the same need of the divine favour 
and care, to make the evening out-goings to re- 
joice, that we had to beautify those of the morn- 
ing. 

(1.) We must pray that our outward man may 
be under the care of God's holy angels, who are 
the ministers of his providence. God hath pro- 
mised that he will give his angels charge con- 
cerning those who make the Most High their 
refuge, and that they shall pitch their tents round 
about them and deliver them ; and what he hath 
promised, we may and must pray for, not as if 
God needed the service of the angels, or as if 
he did himself quit all the care of his people, and 
turn it over to them. But it appears, by abun- 
dance of Scripture proofs, that they are employed 
about the people of God, whom he takes under 
his special protection, though they are not seen, 
both for the honour of God, by whom they are 
charged, and for the honour of the saints with 
whom they are charged. It was the glory of So- 
lomon's bed, that three score valiant men were 



390 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

about it, of the valiant of Israel, all holding 
swords, because of fear in the night. Cant. iii. 7, 
S» But much more honourably and comfortably 
are all true believers attended, for though they 
lie ever so meanly, they have hosts of angels sur- 
rounding their beds, and by the ministration of 
good spirits are preserved from malignant spirits. 
But God will for this be inquired of by the house 
of Israel ; Christ himself must pray the Father, 
and he will send to his relief legions of angels. 
Mat. xxvi. 53. Much more reason have we to 
ask, that it may be given us. 

(2.) We must pray that our inward man may 
be under the influences of his Holy Spirit, who 
is the author and fountain of his grace. As 
public ordinances are opportunities in which the 
Spirit works upon the hearts of men, and there- 
fore when we attend on them, we must pray for 
the Spirit's operations; so are private retirements, 
and therefore me must put up the same prayer 
when we enter upon them. We find, that in 
slumberings upon the bed, God openeth the ears 
of men, and sealeth their instruction. Job xxxiii. 
15, 16. And with this David's experiences con- 
cur; he found that God visited him in the night, 
and tried him, and so discovered him to himself, 
Psal. xvii. 3. And that God gave him counsel, 
and his reins instructed him in the night sea- 
son, and so he discovered himself to him. Psalm 
xvi. 7« He found that was a proper season for 
remembering God, and meditating upon him 5 
and in order to our due improvement of this pro- 



WITH GOD. 391 

How to close the day with God. 

per season for conversing with God in solitude, 
we need the powerful and benign influences of 
the blessed Spirit, which therefore, when we lie 
down, we should earnestly pray for, and humbly 
put ourselves under, and submit ourselves to. 
How God's grace may work upon us when we 
are asleep, we know not; the soul will act in 
a state of separation from the body, and how far 
it doth act independent of the body, when the 
bodily senses are all locked up, we cannot say ; but 
are sure that the Spirit of the Lord is not bound. 
We have reason to pray, not only that our minds 
may not be either disturbed or polluted by evil 
dreams, in which, for aught we know, evil spirits 
sometimes have a hand, but may be instructed 
and quieted by good dreams; which Plutarch rec- 
kons among the evidences of increase and profi- 
ciency in virtue, and on which the good Spirit 
has an influence. I have heard of a good man 
that used to pray at night for go©d dreams. 

Secondly^ When we lay us down, our care 
and endeavour must be to lay us down in peace. 
It is promised to Abraham, that he shall go to 
his grave in peace, Gen. xv. 15, and this pro- 
riiflse is sure to all his spiritual seed ; for the end 
of the upright man is peace. Josiah dies in peace 
though he is killed in battle; now, as an earnest 
of this, let us every night lie down in peace. It is 
threatened to the wicked, that they shall lie down 
in sorrow, Isa. 1. 11. It is promised to the right- 
eous, that they shall lie down, and none shall 
make them afraid, Lev* xxvi. 6, Job xi. 19. Let 



■IT 



S9^ DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

US then enter into this rest, this blessed Sabba- 
tism, and take care that we come not short of it. 

1. Let us lie down in peace with God, for with- 
out this there can be no peace at all. There is 
no peace, saith my God, to the wicked, whom 
God is at war with. A state of sin is a state of 
enmity against God; they that continue in that 
state are under the wrath and curse of God, and 
cannot lie down in peace. What have they to 
do with peace? Hasten, therefore, sinner, hasten 
to make thy peace with God in Jesus Christ, by 
repentance and faith ; take hold on his strength, 
that thou mayest make peace with him, and thou 
shalt make peace ; for fury is not with him. Con- 
ditions of peace are offered, consent to them ; 
close with him who is our peace; take Christ up- 
on his own terms, Christ upon any terms. De- 
fer not to do this ; dare not to sleep in that con- 
dition in which thou darest not die. Escape 
for thy life, look not behind thee. Acquaint now 
thyself with him, now presently, and be at peace, 
and thereby this good shall come unto thee, thou 
shalt lie down in peace. 

Sin is ever and anon making mischief between 
God and our souls, provoking God against us, 
alienating us from God; we therefore need to be 
every night making peace, reconciling ourselves 
to him, and to his holy will, by the agency of 
his Spirit upon us, and begging of him to be re- 
conciled to us through the intercession of his 
Son for us; that there may be no distance, no 
strangeness between us and God, no inter. 



WITH GOD. 39''3 

How to close the day with God. 



posing cloud to hinder his mercies from coming 
down upon us, or our prayers from coming up 
unto him. Being justified by faith, we have this 
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 
and then we may not only lie down in peace, but 
we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Let this 
be our first care, that God have no quarrel with 
us, nor we with him. 

2, Let us lie down in peace with all men ; we 
are concerned to go to sleep, as "well as to go to 
die, in charity. Those that converse much with 
the world, can scarcely pass a day but something 
or other happens that is provoking; some affront 
is given them, some injury doiie them, at least 
they so think. When they retire at night and re^ 
fJect upon it, they are apt to magnify the offence; 
and while they are musing on it, the fire burns; 
their resentment rises, and they begin to say, L 
will do so to him as he has done to me, Prov. xxiv^ 
29. Then is the time of ripening the passion in- 
to a rooted malice, and meditating revenge ; then 
therefore let wisdom and grace be set on work, to 
extinguish this fire from hell before it get head y 
then let this root of bitterness be killed and pluck- 
ed up; and let the mind be disposed to forgive 
the injury, and to think well of, and wish well to, 
him that did it. If others incline to quarrel with 
us, yet let us resolve not to quarrel with them. 
Let us resolve, that whatever the affront or injury 
was, it shall neither disquiet our spirits, nor make 
us to fret, which Peninnah aimed at in provoking 
Hannah, 1 Sam, i, 6. nor sour or imbitter our 
13 3 b 



394* DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

spirits, or make us peevish and spiteful: But 
that we still love ourselves, and love our neigh- 
bours as ourselves, and therefore not by harbour- 
ing malice, do any wrong to ourselves or our 
neighbour. And we shall find it much easier in 
itself, and much more pleasant in the reflection, 
to forgive twenty injuries than to avenge one. 

3. Let us lie down in peace with ourselves, with 
our minds, with a sweet composedness of spirit 
and enjoyment of ourselves. Return unto thy 
rest, O my soul, and be easy; let nothing disturb 
my soul, my darling. 

But when may we lie down in peace at night ? 

1. If we have, by the grace of God, in some 
measure done the work of the day, and filled it 
up with duty, we may then lie down in peace at 
night. If we have the testimony of our con- 
sciences, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, 
not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of 
God, we have this day had our conversation in 
the world; that we have done some good in our 
places, something that will turn to a good ac- 
count ; if our hearts do not reproach us with a 
diem perdidiy alas ! I have lost a day ; or with that 
which is worse, the spending of that time in the 
service of sin, which should have been spent in 
the service of God; but if, on the contrary, we 
have abode with God, have been in his fear, and 
waited on him all the day long, we may then lie 
down in peace; for God saith. Well done, good 
and faithful servant; and the sleep of the labour- 
ing man, of the labouring Christian, is sweet, is 



%^v»%%v>%%%»%»w%%»»%»%»^» 



WITH GOD. 895 

How to close the day with God. 

very sweet, when he can say, as I am a day's 
journey nearer my end, so 1 am a day's work fit- 
ter for it. Nothing will make our bed-chambers 
pleasant, and our beds easy, like the witness of 
the Spirit of God with our spirits, that we are 
going forward for heaven ; and a conscience kept 
void of offence, which will not only be a conti- 
nual feast, but a continual rest. 

2. If we have, by faith and patience, and sub- 
mission to the divine will, reconciled ourselves 
to all the eventis of the day, so as to be uneasy 
at nothing that God has done, we may then lie 
down in peace at night. Whatever hath fallen 
out cross to us, it shall not fret us, but we wiU 
kiss the rod, take up the cross, and say, all is 
well that God doth. Thus we must, in our pa- 
tience, keep possession of our own souls, and not 
suffer any affliction to put us out of the possession 
of them. We have met with disappointments, 
perhaps in husbandry, in trade, or at sea; debtors 
prove insolvent, creditors prove severe; but this 
and the other proceedeth from the Lord, there 
is a providence in it, every creature is what God 
makes it to be, and therefore I am dumb, I open 
not my mouth: That which pleaseth God, ought 
not to displease me. •« 

3. If we have put ourselves under the divine 
protection for the ensuing night, we may then 
lay us down in peace. If, by faith and prayer, 
we have run into the name of the Lord as our 
strong tower, have fled to take shelter under the 
shadow of his wings, and made the Lord our re- 
fuge and our habitation, we may then speak peace 



39fi DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

to ourselves, for God in his word speaks peace 
to us. If David has an eye to the cherubiras, be- 
tween which God is said to dwell, when he saith, 
Psalm Ivii. 1. In the shadow of thy wings will I 
make my refuge; yet certainly he has an eye to 
the similitude Christ makes use of, of a hen gath- 
ering her chickens under her wings, when he 
saith. Psalm xci. 4. He shall cover thee with his 
feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; 
and the chickens under the wings of the hen are 
not only safe, but warm and pleased. li >^fc ^ 

4. If we have cast all our cares for the day 
following upon God, we may then lay us down 
in peace. Taking thought for the morrow is the 
great hinderance of our peace in the night. Let 
us but learn to live without disquieting care, and 
to refer the issue of all events to that God, who 
may and can do what he will, and will do what 
is best for those that love and fear him: Father, 
thy will be done, and then we make ourselves 
easy. Our Saviour presseth this very much upon 
his disciples, not to perplex themselves with 
thoughts, what they shall eat, and what they shall 
drink, and wherewithal they shall be clothed, be- 
cause their heavenly Father knows that they have 
need of these things, and will see that they be 
supplied. Let us therefore ease ourselves of this 
burden, by casting it on him who careth for us : 
what need he care, and we care too ? 

Thirdly, Having laid ourselves down in peace, 
we must compose ourselves to sleep. I will lay 
me down and sleep. The love of sleep for sleep- 



I 



WITH GOD. 397 

How to close the day with God. 

ing sake, is the character of the sluggard; but as 
it is nature's physic for the recruiting of its 
weary powers, it is to be looked upon as a mercy 
equal to that of our food, and in its season to be 
received with thankfulness. 

And with such thoughts as these we may go 
to sleep. 

1. What poor bodies are these we carry about 
with us, that call for rest and relief so often, 
that are so soon tired even with doing nothing, 
or next to nothing. It is an honour to man 
above the beasts, that he is made to go erect, 
Os Homini sublime dedit. It was part of the ser- 
pent's curse, on thy belly shalt thou go : yet we 
have little reason to boast of this honour, when 
we observe how little a while we can stand up- 
right, and how soon we are burdened with our 
honour, and are forced to lie down. The powers 
of the soul, and the senses of the body, are our 
honour; but it is mortifying to consider, how, after 
a few hours use, they are locked up under a total 
disability of acting; and it is necessary they 
should be so. Let not the wise man glory in his 
wisdom, or the strong man in his strength, since 
they both lie for a fourth part of their time utter- 
ly bereft of strength and wisdom, and on a level 
with the weak and foolish. 

2. What a sad thing is it to be under the neces- 
sity of losing so much precious time as we do in 
sleep; that we should lie so many hours every 
four and twenty, in no capacity at all of serving 
God or our neighbour, of doing any work of 
piety or charity. Those that consider how short 



398 DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

our time is, and what a great deal of work we 
have to do, and how fast the day of account has- 
tens on, cannot but grudge to spend so much 
time in sleep, cannot but wish to spend as little 
as may be in it, cannot but be quickened by it 
to redeem time when they are awake, and can- 
not but long to be there where there shall be no 
need of sleep, but they shall be as the angels of 
God, and never rest day nor night from the bless- 
ed work of praising God. 

3. What a good Master do we serve, that al- 
lows us time for sleep, and furnishes us with 
conveniencies for it, and makes it refreshing and 
reviving to us. By this it appears the Lord is 
for the body; and it is a good reason why we 
should present our bodies to him as living sacri- 
fices, and glorify him with them. Nay, sleep is 
spoken of as given by promise to the saints, 
Psalm cxxvii. 2. So he giveth his beloved sleep. 
The godly man hath the enjoyment of that in a 
quiet resignation to God, which the worldly man 
labours in vain for in the eager pursuit of the 
world. What a difference is there between the 
sleep of a sinner, that is not sensible of his being 
within a step of hell, and the sleep of a saint, 
that has good hopes, through grace, of his being 
within a step of heaven ; that is the sleep God 
gives to his beloved. 

4. We have now one day less to live than we 
had in the morning; the thread of time is wind- 
ing off apace, its sands are running down, and 
as time goes, eternity comes. It is hasting on ; 
our days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle. 



1 



WITH GOD. 399 

How to close the day with God. 

which passeth and repasseth in an instant; and 
what do we of the work of time ? What forward- 
ness are we in to give up our account ? O that 
we could always go to sleep with death upon our 
thoughts ! how would it quicken us to improve 
time ! It would make our sleep not the less desir- 
able, but it would make our death much the less 
formidable. 

5. O that, when I awake, I may be still with 
God, that the parenthesis of sleep, though long, 
may not break off the thread of my communion 
with God, but that as soon as I awake 1 may re- 
sume it. O that, when I awake in the night, I 
may have my mind turned to good thoughts, may 
remember God upon my bed, who then is at my 
right hand, and to whom the darkness and the 
light are both alike ; and that I may sweetly me- 
ditate upon him in the night watches; that thus 
even that time may be redeemed, and improved 
to the best advantage, which otherwise is in dan- 
ger, not only of being lost in vain thoughts, but 
mispent in ill ones. O that, when I awake in the 
morning, my first thoughts may be of God, that 
with them my heart may be seasoned for all day. 

6. O that I may enter into a better rest than 
that which 1 am now entering upon ! The apos- 
tle speaks of a rest, which we, that have believed, 
do enter into, even in this world, as well as of 
a rest which, in the other world, remains for the 
people of God, Heb. iv. 4, 9. Believers rest 
from sin and the world, they rest in Christ, and 
in God through Christ, they enjoy a satisfac- 



400 



DAILY COMMUNION 



How to close the day with God. 



tion in the covenant of grace, and their interest 
in that covenant : this is my rest for ever, here 
will I dwell. They enter into this ark; and there 
are not only safe, but easy. Now, O that I might 
enjoy this rest while I live, and when I die, might 
enter into something more than rest, even the 
joy of my Lord, a fulness of joy. 

Fourthly. We must do all this in a believing 
dependence upon God and his power, providence, 
and grace. Therefore I lay me down in peace, 
and compose myself to sleep, because thou. Lord, 
keepest me, and assurest me that thou dost so. 
Thou, Lord, makest me to dwell in safety. Da- 
vid takes notice of God's compassing his path, 
and his lying down, as he observes, Psal. cxxxiv. 
3. He sees his eye upon him, when he is retired 
into his bed-chamber, and none else sees him ; 
when he is in the dark, and none else can see 
him. Here he takes notice of him, compassing 
his lying down as his preserver, and sees his 
hand about him, to protect him from evil, and 
keep him safe : feels his hand under him to sup* 
port him, and to make him easy. 

1. It is by the power of God's providence that 
we are kept safe in the night, and on that pro- 
vidence we must depend continually. It is he 
that preserveth man and beast, Psalm xxxvi. 6, 
that upholds all things by the word of his power. 
That death, which by sin entered into the world, 
would soon lay all waste, if God did not shelter 
his creatures from its arrows, which are continu- 
ally flying about. We cannot but see ourselves 



WITH GOD. 401 

How to close the day with God. 

exposed in the night. Our bodies carry about 
with them the seeds of all diseases; death is al- 
ways working in us, a little thing would stop the 
circulation either of the blood or the breath, and 
then we are gone, either never wake, or wake un- 
der the arrests of death. 

We are very unable to help ourselves, and our 
friends unable to help us ; we are not aware of 
the particulars of our danger, nor can we foresee 
which way it will arise ; and therefore know not 
where to stand upon our guard, or, if we did, we 
know not how. When Saul was asleep, he lost 
his spear and cruise of water, and might as easily 
have lost his head, as Sisera did, when he was 
asleep, by the hand of a woman. What poor 
helpless creatures are we, and how easily are we 
overcome when sleep has overcome us! Our 
friends are asleep too, and cannot help us. An 
illness may seize us in the night, which, if they 
be called up and come to us, they cannot help 
us; even the most skilful and tender physicians 
are of no value. 

It is therefore God's providence that protects 
us, night after night, by his care and kindness. 
That was the hedge about Job, about him and his 
house, and all that he had, Job i. 10; a hedge that 
Satan himself could not break through, nor find a 
gap in, though he traversed it round. There is a 
special protection which God's people are taken 
under; they are hid in his pavilion, in the secret 
of his tabernacle, under the protection of his 
promise, Psalm xXvii. 5. They are his own, and 

IS 3c 



40^ DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 

dear to him, and he keeps them as the apple 
of his eye, Psalm xvii. 8. He is round about 
them from henceforth and for ever, as the moun- 
tains are round about Jerusalem, Psalm cxxv. 2. 
He protects their habitations as he did the tents 
of Israel in the wilderness; for he hath promised 
to create upon every dwelling-place of mount 
Zion a pillar of cloud by day, to shelter from 
heat, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, 
to shelter from cold, Isa. iv, 5. Thus he bless- 
eth the habitation of the just, so that no real evil 
shall befall it, nor any plague come nigh it. 

This care of the divine providence, concerning 
us and our families, we are to depend upon, so 
as to look upon no provisions we make for our 
own safety sufficient, without the blessing of di- 
vine providence upon it. Except the Lord keep 
the city, the watchmen watch in vain. Be the 
house never so well built, the doors and windows 
never so well barred, the servants never so care- 
ful, never so watchful, it is all to no purpose, un- 
less he that keeps Israel, who neither slumbers 
nor sleeps, undertakes for our safety; and if he 
be thy protector, at destruction and famine thou 
shalt laugh, and shalt know that thy tabernacle 
is in peace. Job v. 22, 24*. 

^. It is by the power of God's grace that we 
are enabled to think ourselves safe, and on that 
grace we must continually depend. The fear of 
danger, though groundless, is as vexatious as if 
it were never so just. And therefore, to complete 
the mercy of being made to dwell safely, it is re- 



WITH GOD. 403 

How to close the day with God. 



quisite that, by the grace of God, we be delivered 
from our fears, Psalm xxxiv. 4. as well as from 
the things themselves that we are afraid of, that 
shadows may not be a terror to us, no more than 
substantial evils. 

If by the grace of God we are enabled to live 
by faith, that faith which sets God always before 
us; that faith which applies the promises to our- 
selves, and puts them in suit at the throne of 
grace; that faith which purifies the heart, over- 
comes theworld, and quenches all the fiery darts 
of the wicked one, that faith which realizes un- 
seen things, and is the substance and evidence of 
them : If we be actuated and governed by his 
grace, we are made to dwell safely, and to bid 
defiance to death itself, and all its harbingers and 
terrors. O Death ! where is thy sting ? This 
faith will not only silence our fears, but will 
open our lips in holy triumphs. If God be for 
us, who can be against us? m 

Let us lie down in peace, and sleep, not in the 
strength of a natural resolution against fear, nor 
merely of rational arguments against it, though 
they are of good use, but in a dependence upon 
the grace of God to work faith in us, and to ful- 
fil in us the work of faith. This is going to sleep 
like a Christian under the shadow of God's wings; 
going to sleep in faith, and it will be to us a good 
earnest of dying in faith ; for the same faith that 
will carry us cheerfully through the short death 
of sleep, will carry us through the long sleep of 
death. 



4f04t DAILY COMMUNION 

How to close the day with God. 



^^%»%%%%%^%»%%. V««/W 1 



For Application. 

First. See how much it is our concern to carry 
our religion about with us wherever we go, and 
to have it always at our right hand; for at every 
turn we have occasion for it, lying down, rising 
up, going out and coming in ; and those are Chris- 
tians indeed, who confine not their religion to the 
new moons and the Sabbaths, but bring the in- 
fluences of it into all the common actions and 
occurrences of human life. We must sit down 
at our tables, and rise from them, lie down in our 
beds, and arise from them, with an eye to God*s 
providence and promise. Thus we must live a 
life of communion with God, even while our con- 
versation is with the world. 

And in order to this, it is necessary that we 
have a living principle in our hearts, a principle 
of grace, which, like a well of living water, may 
be continually springing up to life eternal, John 
iv. 14. It is necessary likewise that we have a 
watchful eye upon our hearts, and keep them 
with all diligence, that we set a strict guard upon 
their motions, and have our thoughts more at 
command than I fear most Christians have. See 
what need we have of the constant supplies of 
divine grace, and of a union with Christ, that by 
faith we may partake of the root and fatness of 
the goodly olive continually. 

Secondly. See what a hidden life the life of good 
Christians is, and how much it lies from under 
the eye and observation of the world. The most 
important part of their business lies between God 



WITH GOD. 405 

How to close the day with God. 

and their own souls, in the frame of their spirits, 
and the workings of their hearts in their retire- 
ments, which no eye sees but his that is all eye. 
Justly are the saints called God's hidden ones, 
and his secret is said to be with them ; for they 
have meat to eat, and work to do, which the world 
knows not of; and joys, and griefs, and cares, 
which a stranger doth not intermeddle with. 
Great is the mystery of serious godliness. 

And this is a good reason why we should look 
upon ourselves as incompetent judges one of ano- 
ther, because we know not the hearts of others, 
nor are witnesses to their retirements. It is to be 
feared there are many whose religion lies all on 
the outside. They make a fair show in the flesh, 
and perhaps a great noise; and yet are strangers 
to this secret communion with God, in which 
consists so much of the power of godliness. And, 
on the other hand, it is to be hoped, there are 
many who do not distinguish themselves by any 
thing observable in their profession of religion, 
but pass through the world without being taken 
notice of; and yet converse much with God in 
solitude, and walk with him in the even con- 
stant tenor of a regular devotion and conversa- 
tion. The kingdom of God cometh not with ob- 
servation. Many merchants thrive by a secret 
trade, and make no bustle in the world. It is fit 
therefore that every man's judgment should pro- 
ceed from the Lord, who knows men's hearts, and 
sees in secret. 



406 DAILY COMMUNION. 

How to close the day with God. 



Thirdly. See what enemies they are to them- 
selves, that continue under the power of a vain 
and carnal mind, and live without God in the 
world. Multitudes, 1 fear there are, to whom all 
that has been said of secret communion with God, 
is accounted as a strange thing, and they are 
ready to say of their ministers, when they speak 
of it, do they speak parables ? They lie down and 
rise up, go out and come in, in the constant pur- 
suit either of worldly profits, or of sensual plea- 
sures : But God is not in all their thoughts, not 
in any of them. They live upon him, and upon 
the gifts of his bounty, from day to day, but they 
have no regard to him, never own their depend- 
ence on him, nor are in any care to secure his fa- 
vours. 

They that live such a mere animal life as this, 
do not only put a great contempt upon God, but 
do a great deal of damage to themselves ; they 
stand in their own light, and deprive themselves 
of the most valuable comforts that can be enjoyed 
on this side heaven. What peace can they have 
who are not at peace with God? What satis- 
faction can they take in their hopes, who build 
them not upon God the everlasting foundation ? 
Or in their joys, who derive them not from him, 
the fountain of life and living waters? O that 
at length they would be wise for themselves, and 
remember their Creator and benefactor. 

Fourthly, See what easy and pleasant lives the 
people of God might live, if it were not their own 
faults. There are those who fear God, and work 



WITH GOD. 407 

How to close the day with God. 

righteousness, and are accepted of the Lord, but 
go drooping and disconsolate from day to day, 
are full of cares, and fears, and complaints, and 
make themselves always uneasy ; and it is because 
they do not live that life of delight in God, and 
dependence on him, that they might and should 
live. God has effectually provided for their dwell- 
ing at ease, but they make not use of that pro- 
vision he has laid up for them. 

O that all who appear to be conscientious, and 
are afraid of sin, would appear to be cheerful, and 
afraid of nothing else; that all, who call God Fa- 
ther, and are in care to please him, and keep 
themselves in his love, would learn to cast all 
their other care upon him, and commit their way 
to him as to a Father. He shall choose our in- 
heritance for us, and knows what is best for us, 
better than we do for ourselves. Thou shalt an- 
swer. Lord, for me. It is what I have often said, 
and will abide by, That a holy heavenly life, spent 
in the service of God, and in communion with 
him, is the most pleasant and comfortable life any 
person can live in this world. 

Fifthly, See in this, what is the best prepara- 
tion we can make for the unchangeable world 
that is before us. We know God will bring us to 
death, and it is our great concern to get ready 
for it. It ought to be the business of every day, 
to prepare for our last day; and what can we do 
better for ourselves in the prospect of death, than 
by frequent retirements for communion with God, 
to get more loose from that world, which at death 



408 DAILY COMMUNION WITH GOD. 

How to close the day with God. 

we must leave, and better acquainted with that 
world, which at death we must remove to. By { 
going to our beds as to our graves, we shall make 
death familiar to us, and it will become as easy 
to us to close our eyes in peace and die, as it 
used to be to close our eyes in peace and sleep. 
We hope God will bring us to heaven j and by 
keeping up daily communion with God, we grow 
more and more meet to partake of that inherit- 
ance, and have our conversation in heaven. It 
is certain, all that will go to heaven hereafter be- 
gin their heaven now, and have their hearts there. 
If we thus enter into a spiritual rest every night, 
that will be a pledge of our blessed repose in the 
embraces of divine love, in that world wherein 
day and night come to an end, and we shall not 
rest day or night from praising him, who is, and 
who will be, our eternal rest. 



FINIS. 



DISCOURSE 



CONCERNING 



ANI» 



QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 



BY THE LATE 

REV. MATTHEW HENRY, 

AUTHOR or THK COMMUNICANT'S COMPANION, A COMMRNTAIIT ON 

THE OLD AND NEW TRBTAMBNT8. AND OTHBR 

VALUABLI WORKS. 



GLASGOW: 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY D. MACKENZIE. 



%. 



TO 

THE READER. 



I DO not think it at all needful to tell the world 
what it was which led me to the writing of this 
Discourse concerning Meekness, the substance 
of which was preached several years ago ; nor am 
I concerned to apologize for the publication of 
it: if I thought it needed an apology, I would 
not consent to it. That temper of mind which 
it endeavours to promote, and to charm men in- 
to, jevery one will own to be highly conducive 
to the comfort of human life, the honour of our 
holy religion, and the welfare and happiness of 
all societies, civil and sacred ; and therefore, while 
the design cannot be disliked, I hope, what is 
weak and defective in the management will be 
excused. Some useful discourses have been of 
late published against rash anger, and an excel- 
lent dissuasive from revenge, by the present 
Bishop of Chester, wherein those brutish vices 
are j ustly exposed to our loathing. It is the same 
design I am driving, while I recommend the 
contrary virtues to the love and practice of all 
that profess relation to the holy Jesus : and if 
this Essay have that good effect upon those into 
whose hands it shall at any time fall, I have ray 
end. 

M. HENRY. 



Oj 



lui 



TO 

THE READER. 



It was with real difficulty, through the great aver- 
sion of the reverend author, that these two Dis- 
courses are now brought into public view. Nor, 
were that more distinctly known, would they be 
the less acceptable to the more judicious part of 
the world. 

Through the humility and self-depressing 
thoughts that often accompany true worth, the 
best men are not always the most qualified judges 
of their own performances. 

The reason which Socrates is reported to have 
given, why he made nothing public, (ap. Stoh.J 
• That the paper was dearer and of more value 
than what he had to write,' we can easily ap- 
prehend satisfied nobody but himself. 

Indeed, if many, that more truly might, had 
made that judgment, more mercy had been used 
towards that perishable commodity, without in- 
justice or infelicity to the world. 

But in reference to what hath true value in it, 
and so real usefulness unto common good, as ap- 
pears in this little volume, a sort of extortion 
was not unduly used, to draw it forth and wrest 
it out of the hands that penned it, in the first 
intention, for a few, that it might serve a further 



VI TO THE READER. 



end, and, as it was equally capable, do good to 
many. 

It hath indeed been so ancient, and so com- 
mon a want, to let things that tend, though ever 
so directly, to the bettering of men's minds, 
stand to be gazed at in books, or obtain, at the 
most (as hath long ago been noted), somewhat of 
cold praise, without any thought of ever being 
possessed of the things themselves, that men 
easily agree, because it is a fashion to pardon 
one another this absurd neglect, seldom know- 
ing shame for it, or taking notice of the incon- 
gruity, that it should be thus in reference to 
things of this most excellent kind; when in things 
that apparently serve to bodily or secular advan- 
tage there is so observable a difference. 

Otherwise, for the former of these Discourses 
concerning Christian Meekness, were it a com- 
mon design to have minds habited and clothed 
according to it, what a blessed calm would it 
introduce into our world? how serene and peace- 
able a region would it make every man's soul to 
himself, and to all about him ! It would then be 
truly said of the Christian church, " This is the 
house of God, this is the gate of heaven." 

How near an alliance this complexion of soul 
hath with the heavenly regions, the ingenious 
moralist (San de ira.J aptly represents, taking 
notice, ' That the upper and better ordered part 
of the world, next the stars, is driven together 
into no cloud, hurried into no tempest, never 
tossed about into any whirlwind, is ever free from 



TO THE READER. VU 

any thing of tumult, only the inferior regions 
throw about thunders and lightnings. So is the 
sublime mind always quiet, placed in a station 
of undisturbed tranquillity, sober, venerable, and 
composed,' &c. 

And nothing is more plain, than that the higher 
and greater things our minds are exercised 
and taken up with, the more sedate they are, 
and less liable to unseeming commotion : and 
hereto the scope and design of the annexed dis- 
course most aptly agrees. 

Christianity is too high and too great a thing 
to be a Sect ; of too near affinity to heaven, the 
common term of all our pursuits and hopes. 
That holy religion, by its direct and steady ten- 
dency thitherward, abstracts our minds from low 
and little arts and aims. All parties terminate in 
the earth, there can be no room for them above ; 
they will be buried in the dust. The Christian re- 
ligion is debased and abused when it is made 
subservient to so mean purposes. It is treated 
ignominiously when men so represent it, or con- 
cern themselves about the affairs of it, as if it 
were a sect : or as if to be a Christian, and to be 
a sectary, were terms of the same signification ; 
or its cause were accordingly to be managed 
wrathfuUy, and with fury, with calumny and 
slander, of such as in every arbitrary mode of 
speech and practice agree not with us. So the 
little interests are wont to be served, and con- 
tended for, that belong only to this present world, 
and will end with it. 



Vlll TO THE READER. 

««^VV«<%^A V« V« «.% V% %«%««'% «^ %/% Vfc «^ «^ 'V« %« 'V« Vk «^ %'% V« V 



Too many, God knows, treat the noble cause 
of religion at this rate, at least what they pre- 
tend to be it. Religion itself, indeed, disdains 
to be so served; nor, where minds are once deep- 
ly tinctured with the spirit of it, can admit to en- 
dure it: but it is dishonoured beyond all that can 
be expressed, by having any thing of this kind 
made so much as seem to belong to it. 

I shall not offer at describing them who do it 
this wrong, it being so fully done by the worthy 
author's own words, in the second page of his 
sermon. 

May the blessing of Heaven succeed all such 
great, worthy, pacific designs, as are here pur- 
sued ! Amen. 



JOHN HOWE. 



DISCOURSE 



CONCKRNINO 



MEEKNESS 



AND 



QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 



1 Peter iii. 4. [latter part.] 

Even the ornchnent of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in 

the sight of God of great price. 

The apostle Peter, in this epistle, (as also his 
beloved brother Paul, in many of his), is very 
large in pressing upon Christians the conscien- 
tious discharge of the duties of their particular 
relations, and not without good reason ; for gen- 
erally it holds true, that we are really what we are 
relatively. He is here, in the former part of this 
chapter, directing Christian wives how to carry 
themselves in that relation, to the glory of God, 
their own comfort, and the spiritual benefit and 
advantage of their yoke-fellows, ver. 1,2: and 
among other good lessons, he teacheth them how 
to dress themselves as ** becometh women pro- 
fessing godliness/' Those of that sex are com- 
monly observed to be very solicitous about their 

14 B 



10 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

ornaments. When the question is asked, ** Can 
a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her at- 
tire?" it is supposed scarcely possible, Jer. ii. 32. 
This prevailing inclination the apostle here takes 
hold of, for the recommending of those graces 
and duties to their choice and practice, which 
are indeed the most excellent and amiable adorn- 
ing, not only of their sex, to whom the exhorta- 
tion is primarily directed, but of the other also, 
for whom no doubt it is likewise intended. Ob- 
serve his method: 

1. Pe endeavours to wean them from the vanity 
of outward ornaments, verse 3. ** whose adorn- 
ing, let it not be that outward adorning," &c. 
This doth not forbid the sober and moderate use 
of decent ornaments, when it is according to the 
quality, place, and station, and in due season ; 
not on days of fasting and humiliation, when it 
is proper for ornaments to be laid aside, (Exod.^ 
xxxiii. 4, 5.); but it forbids the inordinate love, 
and excessive use (that is, the abuse) of them. 
There may be **the plaiting of the hair," and the 
" wearing of gold," and there must be ** the put- 
ting on of apparel," that shame, which came into 
the world with sin, hath made necessary: but we 
must not make these things our adorning; that is, 
we must not set our hearts upon them, nor value 
ourselves by them, nor think the better of our- 
selves for them, nor pride ourselves in them, as 
if they added any real excellency to us, nor say 
to them, as Saul did to Samuel, ** Honour me now 
before this people," out of a vain ambition to 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 1 1 






make "a fair show in the flesh." We must spend 
no more care, or thoughts, or time, or words, or 
cost about them, and lay no more stress or weight 
upon them than they deserve, and that is but a 
very little. It is but glory hung upon us, as the 
expression is, Isa. xxii. 24.. and hath no glory, if 
compared with the glory that excelleth it, even 
in the creatures that are far below us; for "Solo- 
mon, in all his glory, was not arrayed" or beauti- 
fied " like one of those lilies, which to-day is, and 
to-morrow is cast into the oven," Matth. vi. 29, 
30. We must not seek first these things* nor 
seek them most, as if we had bodies for no other 
end but to bear out our clothes, and nothing else to 
do with them but to make them fine. It was the 
folly, and proved the ruin, of that rich man in 
the parable, that he made his purple and his fine 
linen, (with other ornaments and delights of the 
.body) his good things, the things in which he 
had his consolation, Luke xvi. 19,25; that is, in 
the language of this scripture, he made them his 
adorning; and so, being unclothed of these, he 
was found naked, 2 Cor. v. 3. Let not the wear- 
ing of gold, and the putting on of apparel, be the 
world; (it is mundus muliebris*). Let not these 
things be all the world with us, as they are with 
many who reckon to be out of the fashion (what- 
ever it is) to be out of the world. Christians are 
called out of the world, and delivered from it, 
Gal. i. 4. and should evidence a victory obtained 

* Immundum muliebrem potius convenit dici. Tertul- 
LiAN de Habitttf Mul. c. 4. 



12 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

by faith over it, as in other instances, so in this, 
1 John V. 4. It is a prescribed rule of our holy 
religion, (whether they will hear, or whether they 
will forbear), ** that women adorn themselves in 
modest apparel, with shame-facedness and sobri- 
ety," 1 Tim. ii. 9. But whereas there are some, 
on the one hand, that exclaim against vanity in 
apparel as the crying sin of this age above any 
other, as if it were a new thing under the sun, 
and the former days were in this respect better 
than these, Eccl. vii. 10.; and others, on the other 
hand, condemn it as a piece of fanaticism to wit- 
ness (as there is occasion) against this vanity : 
both may receive a sufficient answer, if they will 
but read that excellent homily of the church of 
England, entitled. An homily against excess of 
apparel, (No. 18.) by which it will appear, that 
even in those early days of the reformation, it 
was a vanity that prevailed much in our land, and , 
which the rulers of the church thought them- 
selves obliged to reprove. But we will hasten 
to the next. 

2. He endeavours to bring them in love with the 
better ornaments, those of the mind, the graces 
of the blessed Spirit, here called the " hidden 

man of the heart," ver. 4. Grotius observes, 

that though he writes to women, yet he useth a 
word of the masculine gender, because the orna- 
ment he recommends is such as both men and 
women must be adorned with. Grace, as a liv- 
ing principle of regular holy thoughts, words, 
and actions, is sometimes called the new man, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 13 

Eph. iv. 24. sometimes the inward man, Rom. vii. 
22. and 2 Cor. iv. 16. and so here, the hidden 
man of the heart. It is called a man, because 
it is made up of many parts and members, and 
its actings are vital and rational, and it restores 
those to the dignity of men, who by sin had made 
themselves like the beasts that perish. It is 
called the man of the heart, because **out of the 
heart are the issues of life," Prov. iv. 23.; there 
lie the springs of the words and actions, and there- 
fore into that the salt of grace is cast, and so all 
the waters are healed, 2 Kings ii. 21. He is the 
Christian indeed that is one inwardly, and that 
circumcision, that baptism, which is of the heart, 
Rom. ii. 29. It is called the hidden man of the 
heart, because the work of grace is a secret thing, 
and doth not make a pompous show in the eye 
of the world; it is a mystery of godliness; a life 
that is hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. 3. to whom 
secret things belong; therefore the saints are call- 
ed his hidden ones, Psal. Ixxxiii. 3. for the world 
knows them not, much less doth it yet appear 
what they shall be. The king's daughter that is 
espoused to Christ, is all glorious within, Psalm 
xlv. 18. The working of grace in the soul is of- 
ten represented as a regeneration, or being be- 
gotten again ; and perhaps when this good work 
is called the hidden man of the heart, there may 
be some allusion to the forming of the bones in 
the womb of her that is with child," which Solo- 
mon speaks of as unaccountable, as is also ** the 
way of the Spirit," Eccl. xi. 5. compare John iii. 
8. Psal. cxxxix. 14*, 15, 16. And, lastly, it consists 



IIBRARY ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 



14 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

********* *^*****^**'*****^*****^***^*^*****^**-'*^^^-***^*^****»*».***^%%<%%^».* 

in that which is not corruptible ; it is not depraved 
or vitiated by the corruption that is in the world 
through lust, and is in the soul a **well of living 
water springing up into eternal life," John iv. 
14. 

In the text he instanceth in one particular 
grace, one member of this hidden man in the 
heart, which we must every one of us adorn our- 
selves with, and that is, ** a meek and quiet spi- 
rit, which is in the sight of God of great price/' 
Where observe, 

1. The grace itself here recommended to us: 
it is ** a meek and quiet spirit." There must be 
not only a meek and quiet behaviour outwardly; 
there may be that either by constraint, or with 
some base and disguised design, while the soul, 
in the mean time, is rough and turbulent, and en» 
venomed: the words may be softer than oil, while 
war is in the heart. Psalm Iv. 21. But the word 
of God is a discerner and judge of the thoughts 
and intents of the heart, Heb. iv. 12. The power 
of men's laws may bind a man to good behavi- 
our, but it is only the power of God's grace that 
will renew a right spirit within him, Psal. li. 10. 
That is it that makes the tree good, and then the 
fruit will be good. The God with whom we 
have to do demands the heart, looks at the prin- 
ciple, and requires truth in the inward parts, not 
only in the duties of his own immediate worship, 
that those be done in the Spirit, but also in the 
duty we owe to our neighbour, that that also 
be done with a pure heart, and without dissimu- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 15 

lation. The word of command, which the Cap- 
tain of our salvation gives, is, ** Christians, take 
heed to your spirits," Mai. ii. 15. 

2. The excellency of this grace ; it is " in the 
sight of God of great price." It is really a pre- 
cious grace, for it is so in the sight of God, and 
we know that he can neither deceive nor be de- 
ceived. Persons of quality in their ornaments 
affect not so much that which is gay, as that 
which is rich ; not that which makes a glittering 
gaudy show, and pleaseth children and fools, but 
that which is of intrinsic value, and recommends 
itself to the intelligent. A meek and quiet spirit 
is such an ornament, which hath not that gaiety 
that is agreeable to the humour of a carnal 
world, but that real worth which recommends it 
to the favour of God. It is one of those graces 
which are compared to the powders of the mer- 
chant. Cant. iii. 6. far fetched, and dear bought, 
even with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. 
Herein we should every one labour, and this we 
should be ambitious of, as the greatest honour, 
that present or absent, living and dying, we may 
be ** accepted of the Lord," 2 Cor. v. 9. and bless- 
ed be God it is a thing attainable, through the 
Mediator, from whom we have received how to 
walk so as to please him ; we must walk with meek- 
ness and quietness of spirit, for this is **in the 
sight of God of great price." Therefore this 
mark of honour is in a special manner put upon 
the grace of meekness, because it is commonly 
despised, and looked upon with contempt by the 



16 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

children of this world, as a piece of mean-spirit- 
edness; but (however they be termed and treated 
now) they are happy, and will appear so shortly, 
whom God approveth of, and to whom he saith, 
"Well done good and faithful servant;" for by 
his judgment we must stand or fall eternally. 

These words, therefore, will easily afford us 
this plain doctrine. 

That meekness and quietness of spirit is a very 
excellent grace^ which we should every one of us 
put oUf and be adorned with. 

In the prosecution hereof, we shall endeavour, 

1. To show what this meekness and quietness 
of spirit is. 

2. What excellency there is in it. And, 

3. Apply it. 



CHAP. I. 

THE NATURE OF MEEKNESS AND QUIETNESS 
OF SPIRIT. 

Meekness and quietness seem to import much 
the same thing; but the latter, having something 
of metaphor in it, will illustrate the former, and 
therefore we shall speak of them distinctly. 

(1.) We must be of a meek spirit. Meekness 
is easiness of spirit; not a sinful easiness to be de- 
bauched, as Ephraim's, that willingly walked af- 
ter the commandment of the idolatrous princes, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 1? 

Hos. V. 11.; nor a simple easiness to be imposed 
upon and deceived, as Rehoboam's, who, when 
he was forty years old, is said to be ** young and 
tender-hearted," 2 Chron. xiii. ?.; but a gracious 
easiness to be wrought upon by that which is 
good, as their's whose heart of stone is taken 
away, and to whom a heart of flesh is given. 
Meekness is easiness, for it accommodates the soul 
to every occurrence, and so makes a man easy to 
himself, and to all about him. The Latins call a 
meek man mansuetisy i. e. manu assuetus^ used to 
the hand; which alludes to the taming and re- 
claiming of creatures wild by nature, and bring- 
ing them to be tractable and familiar, James iii. 
7, 8. Man's corrupt nature hath made him like 
the wild ass used to the wilderness, or the swift 
dromedary traversing her ways, Jer. ii. 23, 24. 
But the grace of meekness, when that gets do- 
minion in the soul, alters the temper of it, brings 
it to hand, submits it to management, and now 
the wolf dwells with the lamb, and the leopard 
lies down with the kid, and a little child may lead 
them ; for enemies are laid aside, and there is no- 
thing to hurt or destroy, Isa. xi. 6, 9. 

Meekness may be considered with respect both 
to God and to our brethren ; it belongs to both 
the tables of the law, and attends upon the first 
great commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God;" as well as the second, which is like 
unto it, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy- 
self;" though its special reference is to the lat- 
ter. ^ 
14 c 



18 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

Firsts There is meekness towards God, and it 
is the easy and quiet submission of the soul to 
his whole will, according as he is pleased to make 
it known, whether by his word or by his provi- 
dence. 

1. It is the silent submission of the soul to the 
word of God; the understanding bowed to every 
divine truth, and the will to every divine pre- 
cept; and both without murmuring or disputing. 
The word is then an ingrafted word, when it is 
received with meekness, James i. 21. i.e, with a 
sincere willingness to be taught, and desire to 
learn. Meekness is a grace that cleaves the stock, 
and holds it open, that the word, as the imp, may 
be grafted in ; it breaks up the fallow ground, 
and makes it fit to receive the seed ; captivates 
the high thoughts, and lays the soul, like white 
paper, under God's pen, when the day-spring 
takes hold of the ends of the earth, it is said to 
be turned as clay to the seal. Job xxxviii. 12, 13, 
14. Meekness doth in like manner dispose the 
soul to admit the rays of divine light, which be- 
fore it rebelled against; it opens the heart, as 
Lydia's was opened; and sets us down with Mary 
at the feet of Christ; the learner's place and pos- 
ture: compare Deut. xxxiii. 3. The promise of 
teaching is made to the meek, because they are 
disposed to learn. " The meek will he teach his 
way," Psalm xxv. 8, 9. The word of God is 
gospel indeed, good tidings to the meek, Isa. Ixi. 
1. they will entertain it, and bid it welcome; the 
poor in spirit are evangelized, Matth. xi. 5. and 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 19 

wisdom's alms are given to those that with meek- 
ness wait daily at her gates, and, like beggars, 
wait at the posts of her doors, Prov. viii. 34. 
The language of this meekness is that of the child 
Samuel, 1 Sam. iii. 9. ** Speak, Lord, for thy 
servant heareth :" and that of Joshua, who, when 
he was in that high post of honour, giving com- 
mand to Israel, and bidding defiance to all her 
enemies, his breast filled with great and bold 
thoughts; yet, upon the intimation of a message 
from heaven, thus submits himself to it, Josh. v. 
1^ " What saith my Lord unto his servant ?" 
and that of Paul (and it was the first breath of 
the new man). Acts ix. 6. " Lord, what wilt 
thou have me to do ?" and that of Cornelius, 
Acts X. 33. And " now we are all here present 
before God, to hear all things that are comman- 
ded thee of God:*' and that of the good man I 
have read of, who, when he was going to hear 
the word, used to say. Now, let the word of the 
Lord come, and if I bad six hundred necks, I 
would bow them all to the authority of it. To 
receive the word with meekness, is to be deliv- 
ered into it, as into a mould. It seems to be 
Paul's metaphor, Rom. vi. I7. "that form of 
doctrine into which you were given up." Meek- 
ness softens the wax, that it may receive the im- 
pression of the seal, whether it be for doctrine or 
reproof, for correction or instruction in righte- 
ousness; it opens the ear to discipline, silenceth 
objections^ and soppresseth the risings of the car- 
nal mind against the word; consenting to the law 

\ 



20 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

that it is good *, and esteeming all the precepts 
concerning all things to be right, even then when 
they give the greatest check to flesh and blood. 

2. It is the silent submission of the soul to the 
providence of God, for that also is the will of 
God concerning us. 

(1.) When the events of providence are griev- 
ous and afflictive, displeasing to sense, and cross- 
ing our secular interests; meekness doth not only 
quiet us under them, but reconciles us to them, 
and enables us not only to bear but to receive evil, 
as well as good, at the hand of the Lord; which 
is the excellent frame that Job argues himself 
into. Job ii. 10. It is to kiss the rod, and even 
to accept of the punishment of our iniquity; tak- 
ing all in good part that God doth: not daring to 
strive with our Maker; no, not desiring to pre- 
scribe to him, but dumb, and not opening the 
mouth, because God doth it. How meek was 
Aaron under the severe dispensation which took 
away his sons, with a particular mark of divine 
wrath: "he held his peace," Lev. x. 3. God 
was sanctified, and therefore Aaron was satis- 
fied, and had not a word to say against it. Un- 
like to this was the temper, or rather the distem- 
per, of David, who then was not like a man after 
God*s own heart, when he was "displeased be- 
cause the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah,** 
2 Sam. vi. 8. as if God must have asked David's 

* Mitescere est non contradicere divinse scripturse sive 
etellectsesi vitia percutit, sive non intellectSB quasi non 
melius sapere possemus. Aiig, 1. 2. cfe Docirina Ckristi, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 21 

leave thus to assert the honour of his ark. When 
God's anger is kindled, ours must be stifled ; such 
is the law of meekness, that whatsoever pleasetli 
God must not displease us. David was in a bet- 
ter frame when he penned the Ivi. Psalm, the title 
of which, some think, speaks the calmness and 
submissiveness of his spirit, when the Philistines 
took him in Gath : it is ** upon Jonath-elemrec- 
hokim," the silent dove afar off: it was his cala- 
mity that he was afar off, but he was then as a 
silent dove, mourning perhaps, (Isa. xxxviii. 14.) 
but not murmuring, not struggling, not resisting, 
when seized by the birds of prey ; and the Psalm 
he penned in this frame was Michtam, a golden 
psalm. The language of this meekness is that of 
Eli, 1 Sam. iii. 18. " It is the Lord :" and that 
of David to the same purpose, 2 Sam. xv. 25, 
26. " Here I am, let him do to me as seemeth 
good unto him." Not only he can do what he 
will, subscribing to his power, for who can stay 
his hand? Or he may do what he will, subscrib- 
ing to his sovereignty, for he giveth not account 
of any of his matters : or he will do what he will, 
subscribing to his unchangeableness ; " for he is 
in one mind, and who can turn him ?" But let 
him do what he will, subscribing to his wisdom 
and goodness, as Hezekiah, Is. xxxix. 8. " Good 
is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken.'* 
Let him do what he will, for he will do what is 
best ; and therefore, if God should refer the mat- 
ter to me (saith the meek and quiet soul), being 
well assured that he knows what is good for me, 



22 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

better than I do for myself, I would refer it to 
him again ; " He shall choose our inheritance for 
us," Psalm xlvii. 4. 

C^.) When the methods of Providence are dark 
and intricate, and we are quite at a loss what God 
is about to do with us ; " his way is in the sea, 
and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps 
are not known, clouds and darkness are round 
about him;'* a meek and quiet spirit acquiesceth 
in an assurance, that all things shall work toge- 
ther for good to us, if we love God, though we 
cannot apprehend how or which way. It teach- 
eth us to follow God with an implicit faith, as 
Abraham did, when he went out, not knowing 
whether he went, but knowing very well whom he 
followed, Heb. xi. 8,; and quieteth us with this, 
that though what he doth we know not now, yet 
we shall know hereafter, John xiii. 7* When 
poor Job was brought to that dismal plunge, that 
he could no way trace the footsteps of the divine 
providence, but was almost lost in that labyrinth. 
Job xxiii. 8, 9. how quietly doth he sit down, 
verse 10. with this thought, " But he knows the 
way that I take ; when he hath tried me, I shall 
come forth as gold !" 

Secondly^ There is meekness towards our bre- 
thren, towards all men, Tit. iii. 2.; and so we take 
it here. Meekness is especially conversant about 
the affection of anger, not wholly to extirpate and 
eradicate it out of the soul ; that were to quench 
a coal which sometimes there is occasion for, 
even at God's altar, and to rebate and blunt the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT, 



«3 



edge even of our spiritual weapons, with the 
which we are to carry on our spiritual warfare j 
but its office is to direct and govern this affection, 
that we may " be angry and not sin," Eph. iv. 
26. 

Meekness, in the school of the philosophers, 
is a virtue, consisting in a mean between the ex- 
tremes of rash excessive anger on the one hand, 
and a defect of anger on the other, in which Aris- 
totle * confesseth it very hard exactly to deter- 
mine. 

Meekness, in the school of Christ, is one of the 
fruits of the spirit. Gal. v. 22, 23. It is a grace 
(both gratius data and gratam faciens) wrought 
by the Holy Ghost, both as a sanctifier and as a 
comforter in the hearts of all true believers, 
teaching and enabling them at all times to keep 
their passions under the conduct and government 
of religion and right reason : I say, it is wrought 
in the hearts of all true believers, because, though 
there are some rough and knotty pieces that the 
Spirit works upon, whose natural temper is un- 
happily sour and harsh, which are long in the 
squaring; yet wheresoever there is true grace, 
there is a disposition to strive against, and 
strength in some measure to conquer that dis- 
temper. And though in this, as in other graces, 
an absolute sinless perfection cannot be expec- 
ted in this present state, yet we are to labour after 
it, and press towards it. 

More particularly : the work and office of 
meekness, is to enable us prudently to govern 
Ethic. 1. 4. c. 6. 



%4f A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

our own anger, when at any time we are pro- 
voked, and patiently to bear the anger of others, 
that it may not be a provocation to us. The for- 
mer is its office, especially in superiors, the lat- 
ter in inferiors, and both in equals. 

Firstt Meekness teacheth us prudently to go- 
vern our own anger, whenever any thing occurs 
that is provoking. As it is the work of temper- 
ance to moderate our natural appetites towards 
those things that are pleasing. to sense; so it is 
the work of meekness, to moderate our natural 
passions against those things that are displeasing 
to sense, and to guide and govern our resent- 
ment of those things. Anger in the soul is like 
metal in a horse, good, if it be well managed. 
Now meekness is the bridle, as wisdom is the 
hand that gives law to it, puts it into the right 
way, and keeps it of an even, steady, and regu- 
lar pace in that way, reducing it, when it turns 
aside, preserving it in a due decorum, and rer 
straining and giving it check when at any time 
it grows headstrong and outrageous, and threat- 
ens mischief to ourselves or others. It must 
thus be held in, like the horse and mule, with 
bit and bridle (Psal. xxxii. 9.)> l^st it break the 
hedge, run over those that stand in its way, or 
throw the rider himself headlong. It is. true of 
anger*, which we say of fire, that it is a good 
servant, but a bad master ; it is good on the 
hearth, but bad in the hangings. Now meekness 

^^'•Non cognoscitur audacia nisi in bello, amicus nisi in 
necessitate; sapiens^ nisi in ira. Sent, Arab* 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 35 

keeps it in its place, sets banks to the sea, and 
saith, " Hitherto thou shalt come, and no farther j 
here shall thy proud waves be staid." 

In reference to our own anger, when at any 
time we meet with the excitements of it, the work 
of meekness is to do these four things : «W 

1. To consider the circumstances of that 
which we apprehend to be a provocation, so as at 
no time to express our displeasure but upon due 
and mature deliberation. The office of meekness 
is to keep reason upon the throne in the soul, as 
it ought to be, to preserve the understanding 
clear and unclouded, the judgment untainted 
and unbiassed, in the midst of the greatest pro- 
vocations, so as to be able to set every thing in 
its true light, and to see it in its own colour, and 
to determine accordingly; as also to keep silence 
in the court, that the still small voice, in which 
the Lord is, (as he was with Elijah at mount 
Horeb, 1 Kings xix, 12, 13.) may not be drowned 
by the noise of the tumult of the passions. A 
meek man will never be angry at a child, at a 
servant, at a friend, till he hath first seriously 
weighed the cause in just and even balances, 
while a steady and impartial hand held the scales, 
and a free and unprejudiced thought had ad- 
judged it necessary. It is said of our Lord Jesus, 
John xi. 33. ** he troubled himself" — which 
speaks it a considerate act, and what he saw rea- 
son for. Then things go right in the soul, when 
no resentments are admitted into the affections 
but what have first undergone the scrutiny of the 
understanding, and thence received their pass. 

14 D 



86 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

That passion which cometh not in by this door, 
but climbeth up some other way, the same is a 
thief and a robber, which we should stand upon 
our guard against. In a time of war (and such 
a time it is in every sanctified soul, in a constant 
war between grace and corruption), due care 
must be taken to examine all passengers, especi- 
ally those that come armed, whence they came, 
whither they go, who they are for, and what they 
would have. Thus should it be in the well-go- 
verned, well-disciplined soul. Let meekness 
stand centinel ; and, upon the advance of a provo- 
cation*, let us examine who it is we are about to 
be angry with, and for what ? what are the merits 
of the cause ? wherein lay the offence ? what was 
the nature and tendency of it ? what are likely to 
be the consequences of our resentments, and what 
harm will it be if we stifle them, and let them go 
no farther ? Such as these are the interrogato- 
ries which meekness would put to the soul, and in 
answer to them, would abstract all that which 
passion is apt to suggest, and hear reason only 
as it becomes rational creatures to do. 

Three great dictates of meekness we find put 
together in one scripture. Jam. i. 19. "Be swift 
to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath 5" which 
some observe to be couched in three proper names 
of Ishmael's son. Gen. xxv.'14. 1 Chron. i, 30. 
(which Bishop Prideaux, in the beginning of the 
wars, recommended to a gentleman that had been 

* Expendantur verba, si dicendum hoc, si dicendum 
adversum hunc, si tempus sermonis sit hujus, &c, Ambr. 
de Offic. I 1. c. 9. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. ^7 

his pupil, as the summary of his advice) Mishma, 
Dumahy Massa; the signification of which is, 
«* hear, keep silence, bear." Hear reason, keep 
passion silent, and then you will not find it diffi- 
cult to bear the provocation. 

It is said of the Holy One of Israel, when the 
Egyptians provoked him, "that he weighed a 
path to his anger," so the margin reads it from 
the Hebrew ; Psal. Ixxviii. 50. Libravit semitam 
tree suce. Justice first poised the cause, and then 
anger poured out the vials. Thus, Gen. xi. 5. 
" The Lord came down to see" the pride of the 
Babel builders before he scattered them ; and, 
Gen. xviii. 21. "He came down to see" the 
wickedness of Sodom before he overthrew it ; 
though both were obvious and barefaced*; to 
teach us to consider before we are angry, and to 
judge before we pass sentence, that herein we 
may be followers of God as dear children, and be 
merciful, as our Father which is in heaven is 
merciful. 

We read, James iii, 13. "of the meekness of 
wisdom;" for where there is not wisdom, that 
w^isdom which is profitable to direct, Eccl. x. 10. 
that wisdom of the prudent which is to under- 
stand his way, Prov. xiv. 8. meekness will not 
long be preserved. It is our rashness and incon- 
sideration that betrays us to all the mischiefs of 
an ungoverned passion, on the t neck of which 

♦ In correptione vitiorum subesse menti debet iracundia 
non prseesse. Greg, in Joby 1. 26. c. 36. 

f Ratio id jodicare vult quod eequun^ est, irw in sequum 
videri vult, quod judicavit. Sen. 



28 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

the reins are laid, (which should be kept in the 
hand of reason,) and so we are hurried upon a 
thousand precipices. Nehemiah is a remarkable 
instance of prudence presiding in just resent- 
ments. He owns, Neh. v. 6, 7« ** I was very an- 
gry when I heard their cry ;*' but that anger did 
not at all transgress the laws of meekness, for it 
follows, " then I consulted with myself,'* or, as 
the Hebrew hath it, **My heart consulted in 
me.'* Before he expressed his displeasure, he re- 
tired into his own bosom, took time for a sober 
thought upon the case, and then he rebuked the 
nobles in a very solid, rational discourse, ver, 8, 
9, 10, 11, and the success was good, ver. 12, 13. 
In every cause when passion presently demands 
judgment, meekness moves for further time, and 
will have the matter fairly argued, and counsel 
heard on both sides. 

When the injured Levite had pitched upon a 
very barbarous course to irritate the tribes of Is- 
rael (who commonly were too fiery to need a spur) 
against the men of Gibeah, yet withal he referred 
the matter to their deliberate counsels; to teach 
us, when our hearts are meditating revenge, to do 
likewise, Judg. xix. 30. so and so the matter is, 
consider of it, take advice, and then speak your 
minds. When Job had any quarrel with his ser- 
vants, he was willing to admit a rational debate 
of the matter, and to hear what they had to say 
for themselves: **For (saith he) what shall I do 
when God riseth up ?" and withal, " did not he 
that made me in the womb, make him?" Job 
xxxi. 13, H, 15. When our hearts are at any 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 29 

time hot within us, we would do well to put that 
question to ourselves which God put to Cain, 
Gen. iv. 6. **Why am 1 wroth?" why am I an- 
gry at all ? why so soon angry ? why so very an- 
gry? why so far transported and dispossessed of 
myself by my anger ? what reason is there for all 
this ? Do I well to be angry for a gourd, that 
came up in a night, and perished in a night? Jo- 
nah iv. 9. Should I be touched to the quick by 
such a sudden and transient provocation? will not 
my cooler thoughts correct these hasty resent- 
ments, and therefore were it not better to check 
them now ? Such are the reasonings of the meek- 
ness of wisdom. 

^. The work of meekness is to calm the spirit, 
so as that the inward peace may not be disturbed 
by any outward provocation. No doubt but a 
man may express his displeasure against the mis- 
carriages of another, as much at any time as there 
is occasion for, without suffering his resentments 
to recoil upon himself, and to put his own soul 
into a hurry. What need a man to "tear him- 
self (his soul, so it is in Hebrew) to his anger?'* 
Job xviii. 4. Cannot we charge home upon our 
enemies' camp, without the wilful disordering of 
our own troops ? Doubtless we may, if meekness 
have the command, for that is a grace which pre- 
serves a man master of himself, while he contends 
to be master of another : and though there may 
be some firing on the outworks, yet it fortifies the 
assaults of provocation, which do us no great 
harm, while they do not rob us of our peace, nor 



30 A DISCOURSE CONCERNIKG MEEKNESS 

disturb the rest of our souls. As patience in case 
of sorrow, so meekness in the case of anger, keeps 
" possession of the soul,'* (as the expression is, 
Luke xxi. 19.) that we be not disseised of that 
freehold, and take care, when the bell is up, that 
it do not overturn. The drift of Christ's fare- 
well sermon to his disciples we have in the first 
words of it, John xiv. 1. "Let not your hearts 
be troubled." — It is the duty and interest of all 
good people, whatever happens, to keep trouble 
from their hearts, and to have them even and se- 
date, though the eye (as Job expresseth it) should 
continue unavoidably in the provocation of this 
world. Job xvii. 2. The wicked, the turbulent, 
and unquiet, are like the troubled sea, when it 
cannot rest, Isa. Ivii. 20. but that peace of God, 
which passeth all understanding, keeps the hearts 
and minds of all the meek of the earth. Meek- 
ness preserves the mind from being ruffled and 
discomposed, and the spirit from being unhinged 
by the vanities and vexations of this lower world; 
it stills the noise of the sea, the noise of her 
waves, and the tumult of the soul ; permits not 
the passions to crowd out in a disorderly manner, 
like a confused ungoverned rabble ; but draws 
them out like the trained bands, rank and file, 
every one in his own order, ready to march, to 
charge, to fire, to retreat, as wisdom and grace 
give the word of command. 

It is said of the just and holy God, that he is 
" Lord of his anger," Nahum i. 2. where we 
translate it, he is furious, perhaps not so well, 
for " fury is not in him," Isa. xxvii. 4. but he 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 31 

is " the Lord of anger," compos tree, so some of 
the critics render it; he is master of his own an- 
ger; and we should labour to be so too. Which 
some interpreters give as the sense of that which 
God said to Cain, Gen. iv. 7. ** Unto thee," or 
" subject unto thee, shall be its desire, and thou 
shalt rule over it ;" viz. over this passion of an- 
ger which thou hast conceived in thy bosom; thou 
shouldest, and (if thou wouldst use grace offered 
to thee) thou mightest subdue and keep und^ 
these intemperate heats, so as that they may not 
disquiet the repose of thy soul, nor break out 
into any exorbitances. 

3. Meekness will curb the tongue, and keep 
the mouth as with a bridle when the heart is hot, 
Psal. xxxiii. 1, 2, 3. Even then, when there may 
be occasion for a keenness of expression, and we 
are called to "rebuke sharply," (cuttingly,) Tit. 
i. 2. yet meekness forbids all fury and indecency 
of language, and every thing that sounds like 
clamour and evil-speaking, Eph. iv. 31. The 
meekness of Moses was not at hand when he 
spoke that unadvised word, Num. xx. 10. (the re- 
bels), for which he was shut out of Canaan, though 
rebels they were, and at that time very provoking. 
Men in passion are apt to give reviling language, 
to call names, and these most senseless and ridic- 
ulous, to take the blessed name of God in vain, 
and profane that. It is a wretched way by which 
the children of hell vent their passion at their 
beasts, their servants, or at any person or thing 
that provokes them, to swear at it. Men in 



S6'' A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

passion are apt to reveal secrets, to make rash 
vows and resolutions, which afterwards prove 
a snare, and sometimes to slander and belie 
their brethren, and bring railing accusations, 
and so to do the devil's work, and to speak 
that in their haste concerning others, (as David, 
Psalm cxvi. 11. "All men are liars,*') which 
they see cause to repent of at leisure. How 
brutishly did Saul in his passion call his own 
son, the heir apparent to the crown, the "son 
of the perverse rebellious woman !'* 1 Sam. xx^ 
30. that is, in the filthy dialect of passion in 
our days, " the son of a whore ;" a fine credit 
to himself and his family ! " Raca,'* and " thou 
fool," are instanced in by our Saviour as breaches 
of the law of the sixth commandment, Matth. 
V, 22. and the passion in the heart is so far 
from excusing such opprobrious speeches (for 
which purpose it is commonly alleged), that 
really it is that which gives them their malignity, 
they are the smoke from that fire, the gall and 
wormwood springing from that root of bitter- 
ness; and if for every idle word that men speak, 
much more for such wicked words as these, must 
they give an account at the day of judgment, 
Matth. xii. 39. And as it is a reflection upon 
God to kill, so it is to curse men that are made 
after the image of God, Jam. iii. 9. (though 
ever so much our inferiors,) that is, to speak ill of 
them, or to wish ill to them. 

This is the disease which meekness prevents, 
and is " in the tongue a law of kindness," as 
the expression is, Prov. xxxi. 26. It is to the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. S3 

tongue as the helm is to the ship (it is the apos- 
tle's comparison, James iii. 3, 4.) not to silence 
it, but to guide it, to steer it wisely, especially 
when the wind is high. If at any time we have 
conceived a passion, and thought evil, meekness 
will lay the hand upon the mouth *, (as the wise 
man*s advice is, Prov. xxx. 32.) to keep that evil 
thought from venting itself in any evil word, re- 
flecting upon God or our brother. It will reason 
a matter in variance without noise, give a reproof 
without a reproach, convince a man of his folly 
without calling him a fool, will teach superiors 
either to forbear threatening, Eph. vi. 9. or (as 
the margin reads it) to moderate it, and will look 
diligently, least any root of bitterness springing 
up, trouble us, and thereby we, and many others, 
be defiled, Heb. xii. 15. 

4. Meekness will cool the heat of passion quick- 
ly, and not suffer it to continue. As it keeps us 
from being soon angry, so it teaches us, when we 
are angry, to be soon pacified. The anger of a 
meek man is like fire struck out of steel, hard to 
be got out ; but when it is out, soon gone. The 
wisdom that is from above, as it is gentle, and so 
not apt to provoke, so it is easy to be entreated 
when any provocation is given. Jam. iii. 17. and 
hath the ear always open to the first proposals 
and overtures of satisfaction, submission, and re- 
conciliation, and so the anger is turned away. 
He that is of a meek spirit, will be forward to 

* In Socrate irae signum erat, vocem submitterre, loqui 
parcius apparebat tunc ilium sibi obstare. Ita refert Seneca 
de Ira. 1. 3. c. 1 3. Plutarch de non Irascendo. 
15 E 



3i A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



forgive injuries, and to put up affronts, and hath 
some excuse or other ready wherewith to exte- 
nuate and qualify the provocation, which an angry 
man, for the exasperating and justifying of his 
own resentments, will industriously aggravate. 
It is but saying, there is no great harm done, or, 
if there be, there was none intended *, and per- 
ad venture it was an oversight ; and so the offence 
being looked at through that end of the prospec- 
tive which diminisheth, it is easily past by, and 
the distemper being taken in time, goes off quick- 
ly, the fire is quenched before it gets head, and 
by a speedy interposal the plague is stayed. While 
the world is so full of the sparks of provocation, 
and there is so much tinder in the hearts of the 
best, no marvel if anger come sometimes into the 
bosom of a wise man ; but it rests only in the bo- 
som of fools, Eccl. vii. 9. Angry thoughts, as 
other Vain thoughts, may crowd into the heart 
upon a sudden surprise ; but meekness will not 
suffer them to lodge there, (Jer. iv. 14.) nor let 
the sun go down upon the wrath, (Eph. iv. 26.) 
for if it do, there is danger least it rise bloody 
the next morning. Anger concocted becomes 
malice : it is the wisdom of meekness, by proper 
applications, to discuss the tumour before it comes 
to a head. One would have thought, when Da- 
vid so heinously resented Nabal's abuse, that no- 
thing less than the blood of Nabal, and all his 

* It is a maxim in the law, In verbis dubiis benignior 
sententia est preferenda. And, Semper sit presnmptio in 
meliorem partem. Vid, Alciat de Presumpt, Reg, 3. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 35 

house could have quenched his heat ; but it was 
done at a cheaper rate, and he showed his meek- 
ness, by yielding to the diversion that Abigail's 
present and speech gave him, and that with satis- 
faction and thankfulness. He was not only soon 
pacified, but blessed her, and blessed God for 
her that pacified him. God doth not contend for 
ever, neither is he always wroth ; his anger endur- 
eth but a moment. Psalm xxx. 5. How unlike 
then are those to him whose sword devours for 
ever, and whose anger burns like the coals of juni- 
per ? But the grace of meekness, if it fail of keep- 
ing the peace of the soul from being broken, yet 
fails not to recover it presently, and to make up 
the breach, and upon the least transport steps in 
with help in the time of need, restores the soul, 
puts it in frame again, and no great harm is done. 
Such as these are the achievements of meekness, 
as it governs our own anger. 

Secondly* Meekness teacheth and enableth us 
patiently to bear the anger of others, which in- 
stance of meekness we have especially occasion 
for, in reference to our superiors and equals. 
Commonly that which provokes anger, is anger, 
as fire kindleth fire ; now meekness prevents that 
violent collison which forceth out these sparks, 
and softens at least one side, and so puts a stop 
to a great deal of mischief ; for it is the second 
blow that makes the quarrel. Our first care 
should be to prevent the anger of others, by giv- 
ing no offence to any, but becoming all things to 
all men, every one studying to please his neigh- 



S6 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

hour for good to edification, Rom. xv. S. and en- 
deavouring, as much as lies in us, to accommodate 
ourselves to the temper of all with whom we have 
to do, and to make ourselves acceptable and 
agreeable to them. How easy and comfortable 
should we make every relation, and every in« 
stance of conversation, if we were but better ac- 
quainted with this art of obliging? Naphtali's 
tribe, that was famous for giving goodly words, 
(Gen. xHx. 21.) had the happiness of being satis- 
fied with favour, Deut. xxxiii. 23. For every 
man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right an- 
swer, Prov. xxiv. 26. In the conjugal relation it 
is taken for granted, (1 Cor vii. 33, 34>.) that the 
care of the husband is to please his wife, and the 
care of the wife is to please her husband ; and 
where there is that mutual care, comfort cannot 
be wanting. Some people love to be cross-grain- 
ed, and take a pleasure in displaying, and especi- 
ally contrive to provoke those they find passion- 
ate and easily provoked, that (as he that giveth 
his neighbour drink, and putteth his bottle to him, 
Hab. ii. 15, 16.) they may look upon his shame, 
to which in his passion he exposes himself; and 
so they make a mock at sin, and become like 
the " madman that casteth fire-brands, arrows, 
and death, and saith, am not I in sport ?" But 
the law of Christ forbids us to " provoke one an- 
other," Gal. V. 26. (unless it be to love and to 
do good works), and enjoins us ( as it follows 
there. Chapter vi. 2.) to bear one another's bur- 
dens, and so to fulfil the law of Christ." 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 87 

But because they must rise betimes that will 
please every body, and carry their cup even in- 
deed that will shed no offence; our next care 
therefore must be so to behave ourselves when 
others are angry, that we may not make ill worse. 
And this is one principal thing in which the 
younger must submit themselves to the elder; nay, 
in which all of us must be subject to one another, 
as our rule is, 1 Pet. v. 5. And here meekness 
is of use, either to enjoin silence, or endite a soft 
answer, 

1. To enjoin silence. It is prescribed to ser- 
vants, Tit. ii. 9. to " please their masters well in 
all things, not answering again," for that must 
needs be displeasing; better say nothing, than say 
that which is provoking. When our hearts are 
hot within us, it is good for us to keep silence, 
and hold our peace : so David did, Psal. xxxix. 
2y 3. and when he did speak, it was in prayer to 
God, and not in reply to the wicked that were 
before him. If the heart be angry*, angry words 
will but inflame it the more, as wheels are heat- 
ed by a rapid motion. One reflection and repar- 
tee begets another, and the beginning of the de- 
bate is like the letting forth of water, hardly stopt 
when the least breach is made in the dam ; and 
therefore meekness saith, by all means keep si- 
lence, and leave it off before it be meddled with. 
When a fire is begun, it is good if possible to 
smother it, and so prevent its spreading. Come 

♦ Quid refert inter provocantem et provocantum, nisi 
quod ille prior in maleficia deprehenditur, et ille posterior ; 
nullo yero in maleficio ordinis ratio est. Tertul. de Patientia, 



38 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

on, let us deal wisely, and stifle it in the birth, 
least afterwards it prove too strong to be dealt 
with. Anger in the heart is like those books 
which were stowed up in cellars in the con- 
flagration of London, which, though they were 
extremely heated, yet never took fire till they 
got air many days after, where, giving vent to 
the heat, put them into a flame. When the spi- 
rits are in a ferment, though it may be some pre- 
sent pain to check and suppress them, and the 
head-strong passions hardly admit the bridle, yet 
afterwards it will be no grief of heart to us. 

Those who find themselves wronged and ag- 
grieved, think they may have leave to speak; but 
it is better to be silent than speak amiss, and 
make work for repentance. At such a time, he 
that holds his tongue holds his peace; and if we 
soberly reflect, we shall find we have been often 
the worse for our speaking, but seldom the worse 
for our silence*. This must be especially remem- 
bered and observed by as many as are under the 
yoke, who will certainly have most comfort in 
meekness, and patience, and silent submission, 
not only to the good and gentle, but also to the 
froward. It is good in such cases to remember 
our t place, and if the spirit of a ruler rise up 

^ Complures vidi loquendo peccatum incidisse, vix qnen- 
quam tacendo : ideoque tascere nosse quam loqui difficilius 
est. Ambr. de Offic, 1. 1. c. 2. 

-|- Locus tuus patientia est, locus tuus sapientia est, lo- 
cus tuus ratio est, et sedatio indignationis. Ambr. uhi 
supra, c, 21. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 39 

against us, not to leave that, i. e, not to do any 
thing unbecoming that, for yielding pacifieth 
great offences, Eccl. x. 4. We have a common 
proverb that teacheth us this, ** When thou art 
the hammer, knock thy fill; but when thou art 
the anvil, lie thou still;" for it is the posture thou 
art cut out for, and which best becomes thee. 

If others be angry at us without cause, and we 
have ever so much reason on our side, yet often- 
times it is best to adjourn our own vindication, 
though we think it necessary, till the passion be 
over; for there is nothing said or done in passion, 
but it may be better said and better done after- 
wards: when we are calm, we shall be likely to 
say it and do it to better purpose. A needful 
truth spoken in a heat may do more hurt than 
good, and offend rather than satisfy. The pro- 
phet himself forbore even a message from God, 
when he saw Amaziah in a passion, 2 Chron. xxv, 
16. Sometimes it may be advisable to get some 
one else to say that for us which is to be said, 
rather than say it ourselves. However, we have 
a righteous God, to whom (if we do, in meek si- 
lence; suflPer ourselves to be run down unjustly) 
we may commit our cause, and having his pro- 
mise that he will "bring forth our righteousness 
as the light, and our judgment as the noon-day,'* 
Psal. xxxvii. 6. we had better leave it in his hands, 
than undertake to manage it ourselves, lest that 
which we call clearing ourselves, God should call 
quarreling with our brethren. David was great- 
ly provoked by those that sought his hurt, and 



40 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

spoke mischievous things against him; and yet 
(saith he), " I as a deaf man heard not, I was as a 
dumb man that openeth not his mouth," Psalm 
xxxviii. 13. And why so? It was not because 
he wanted something to say, or because he knew 
not how to say it; but, ver. 15. because " in thee, 
O Lord, do I hope, thou wilt hear, O Lord my 
God:" and what need I hear, and God hear too ? 
His concerning himself in the matter supercedes 
ours, and he is not only engaged injustice to own 
every righteous and wronged cause; but he is 
further engaged, in honour, to appear for those 
that, in obedience to the law of meekness, commit 
their cause to him, and trust him with it. If 
there be any vindication, or avenging necessary, 
(which infinite wisdom is the best judge of), he 
can do it better than we can, and therefore "give 
place unto wrath," Rom. xii. 19. i* e. to the judg- 
ment of God, which is according to truth and 
equity, make room for him to take the seat, and 
do not you step in before him ; it is fit our wrath 
should stand by to give way to his, for the wrath 
of man engageth not the righteousness of God 
for him, James i. 20. even just appeals made to 
him, if they be made in passion, are not admit- 
ted into the court of heaven, being not duly put 
in; that one thing is error sufficient to over-rule 
them. Let not therefore those that do well, and 
suffer for it, spoil their own vindication by mis- 
timing and mismanaging it, but tread in the 
steps of the Lord Jesus, " who^ when he was re- 
viled, reviled not again ; when he suflfer^d, he 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 41 

threatened not, but was as a lamb dumb before the 
shearers,*' and so " committed himself to him 
that judgeth righteously." It is indeed a great 
piece of self-denial, to be silent when we have 
enough to say, and provocation to say it; but if 
we do thus controul our tongues, out of a pure 
regard to peace and love, it will turn to a good 
account, and will be an evidence for us that we 
are Christ's disciples, having learned to deny our- 
selves. It is better by silence to yield to our 
brother, who is, or hath been, or may be, our 
friend, than by angry speaking to yield to the 
devil, who hath been, and is, and ever will be, 
our sworn enemy. 

2. To endite a soft answer. This Solomon 
commends as a proper expedient to turn away 
wrath, while grievous words do but stir up anger, 
Prov. XV. 1. When any speak angrily to us, we 
must pause a while, and study an answer, which, 
both for the matter and manner of it, may be mild 
and gentle. This brings water, while peevish- 
ness and provocation would but bring oil to flame. 
Thus is death and life in the power of the tongue; 
it is either healing or killing, an antidote or a 
poison, according as it is used. When the waves 
of the sea beat on a rock, they batter and make 
a noise; but a soft sand receives them silently, 
and returns them without damage. A soft tongue 
is a wonderful specific, and hath a very strange 
virtue in it; for Solomon saith, it breaks the bone, 
Prov. XXV. 15. that is, it qualifies those that were 
provoked, and makes them pliable; it heaps coals 

15 F 



4@ A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

of fire upon the head of an enemy, not to burn 
him, but to melt him, Prov. xxv. 21, 22. Hard 
words (we say) break no bones, but it seems soft 
ones do (and yet do no harm), as they calm an 
angry spirit, and prevent its progress, breaking it 
as we do a flint upon a cushion. A stone that 
falls on a wool-pack rests there, and rebounds 
not to do any further mischief; such is a meek 
answer to an angry question. It is observed in 
that rencounter which was between the royal tribe 
and the other ten, that the words of the men of 
Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of 
Israel, 2 Sam. xiv. 43. When a passion is up, 
that God, whose eyes are upon all the ways of 
men, takes notice who speaks fiercely, and sets 
a mark upon them. 

The good effect of a soft answer, and the ill 
consequence of a peevish one, are observable in 
the stories of Gideon and Jephthah. Both of 
them, in the day of their triumphs over the ene- 
mies of Israel, were causelessly quarrelled with 
by the Ephraimites, (an angry sort of people it 
seems *), who took it very heinously when the 
danger was past and the victory won, that they 
had not been called upon to engage in the battle j 
Gideon pacified them with a soft answer, Judg. 
viii. 2. " What have I done now in comparison 
of you?" Magnifying their achievements, and 
lessening his own, speaking honourably of them, 
and meanly of himself, " Is not the gleaning of 

• Hence we read of the envy of Ephraim, Is. xi. 13. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 43 

the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of 
Abiezer?" In which reply, it is hard to say 
whether there was more of wit or wisdom. And 
the effect was very good ; the Ephraimites were 
pleased, their anger turned away, a civil war pre- 
vented, and no body could think the worse of 
Gideon for his mildness and self-denial ; but, on 
the contrary, that he won more true honour by 
this victory over his own passion, than he did by 
his victory over all the host of Midian ; for " he 
that hath rule over his own spirit, is better than 
the mighty," Prov. xvi. 32. The angel of the 
Lord had pronounced him a •* mighty man of val- 
our,** Judg. vi. 12. and this his tame submission 
did not at all derogate from that part of his cha- 
racter. But Jephthah (who, by many instances, ap- 
pears to have been a man of a rough and hasty spi- 
rit, though enrolled among the eminent believers, 
Heb. xi. 32. for all good people are not alike hap- 
py in their temper), when the Ephraimites in like 
manner pick a quarrel with him, he rallies them» 
upbraids them with their cowardice, boasts of his 
own courage, challenges them to make good their 
cause, Judg. xii. 2, 3. They retort a scurrilous 
reflection upon Jephthah*s country fas it is usual 
with men in passion to taunt and jeer one an- 
other), "Ye Gileadites are fugitives," verse 4. 
From words they go to blows, and so great a mat- 
ter doth this little fire kindle, that there goes no 
less to quench the flame than the blood of two- 
and-forty thousand Ephraimites, verse 6. All 



44 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

which had been happily prevented, if Jephthath 
had had but half as much meekness as he had rea- 
son on his side. 

A soft answer is the dictate and dialect of that 
wisdom which is from above, which is "peaceable, 
gentle, and easy to be entreated:** And tore- 
commend it to us, we have the pattern of good 
men j as that of Jacob's carriage to Esau, though 
a brother offended, who is so hard to be won, yet 
as he had prevailed with God by faith and pray- 
er, so he prevailed with his brother by meekness 
and humility. We have also the pattern of good 
angels, who even then, when a rebuke was need- 
ful, yet durst not turn it into a railing accusation, 
durst not give any reviling language, not to the 
devil himself, but referred the matter to God, 
" the Lord rebuke thee,'* as that passage, Jude 
verse 9. is commonly understood. Nay, we have 
the pattern of a good God, who, though he could 
" plead against us with his great power," yet 
gives soft answers. Witness his dealing with Cain, 
when he was wroth, and his countenance fallen, 
reasoning the case with him. Gen. iv. 6, 7. 
" Why art thou wroth — If thou dost well, shalt 
not thott jbe accepted ?'* With Jonah likewise, 

* when»vhe was so discontented, Jonah iv. 4*, 9. 

* Dost thou >^11 to be angry ?** This is represen- 
ted in the parable of the prodigal son, by the car- 
riage of the father to the elder brother, that was 
so high and humoursome, so angry that he would 
not come in. The father did not say. Let him 
stay out then, but he came himself and entrea- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 45 

ted him (when he might have interposed his au- 
thority, and commanded him), and said, " Son, 
thou art ever with me," Luke xv. 28, 31. When 
a passionate parley is begun, there is a plague 
broke out. The meek man, like Aaron, takes his 
censer with the incense of a soft answer, steps 
in seasonably, and stays the plague. 

This soft answer, in case we have committed 
a fault, (though perhaps not culpable to that 
degree that we are charged with,) must be peni- 
tent, humble, and submissive, and we must be 
ready to acknowledge our error, and not stand 
in it, or insist upon our own vindication, but ra- 
ther aggravate than excuse it, rather condemn 
than justify ourselves. It will be a good evidence 
of our repentance towards God, to humble our- 
selves to our brethren, whom we have offended; 
as it will be also a good evidence of our being 
forgiven of God, if we be ready to forgive those 
that have offended us: and such yielding pacifieth 
great offences. Meekness teacheth us, as oft as 
we trespass against our brother, to turn again 
and say, "I repent," Luke xvii. 4. An acknow- 
ledgment, in case of a wilful affront, is perhaps 
as necessary to pardon, as (we commonly say) 
restitution is in case of wrong. — And so much 
for the opening of the nature of metekness, which 
yet will receive further light from what follows. 

(2.) We must be of a quiet spirit. Quietness 
is the evenness, the composure, and the rest of 
the soul, which speaks both the nature and the 
excellency of the grace of meekness. The great- 



46 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

est comfort and happiness of man is sometimes 
set forth by quietness. That peace of conscience, 
which Christ has left for a legacy to his disciples, 
that present Sabbatism of the soul, which is an 
earnest of the rest that remains for the people of 
God, is called ** quietness and assurance for ever,'* 
and is promised as the ** effect of righteous- 
ness,*' Isa. xxxii. 17. and it follows, verse 18. 
" My people shall dwell in quiet resting-places." 
So graciously hath God been pleased to twist in/- 
terests with us, as to enjoin the same thing un- 
der the notion of a duty, which he proposeth and 
promiseth under the notion of a privilege. Just- 
ly may we say, that we serve a good Master, 
whose yoke is easy, Matth. xi. 30 ; it is not only 
easy, but sweet and gracious, not only tolerable, 
but amiable and acceptable. Wisdom's ways are 
not only pleasant, but pleasantness itself, and all 
her paths are peace, Prov. iii. I7. It is the cha- 
racter of the Lord's people, both in respect of 
holiness and happiness, that (however they be 
branded as the troublers of Israel) they are the 
" quiet in the land," Psal. xxxv. 20. If every saint 
be made a spiritual prince (Rev. i. 6.), having 
a dignity above others, and a dominion over him- 
selfi surely he is like that Seraiah, Jer. li. 59. a 
" quiet prince." It is a reign with Christ, the 
transcendent Solomon, under the influence of 
who*se golden sceptre there is abundance of peace 
as long as the moon endures, yea, and longer, ** for 
of the increase of his government and peace 
there shall be no end." Quietness is in the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 47 

text recommended to us as a grace which we 
should be endued with, and as a duty which 
we should practise. In the midst of all the af- 
fronts and injuries that are, or can be offered us, 
we must keep our spirits sedate and undisturbed, 
and evidence, by a calm, even, and regular 
behaviour, that they are so. This is quietness. 
Our Saviour hath pronounced the blessing of 
adoption upon the peace-makers, Matth. v. 9. 
those that are for peace, as David professeth him- 
self to be, Psal. cxx. 7. in opposition (such an op- 
position as meekness is capable of) to those who 
delight in war, Psal. Ixviii. SO. Now if charity be 
for peace-making, surely this charity begins at 
home, and is for making peace there in the first 
place. Peace in our own souls is some conformity 
to the example of the God of peace, who, though 
he doth not always give peace on this earth, yet 
evermore ** makes peace in his own high places," 
Job XXV. 2 *. This, some think, is the primary 
intention of " that peace-making,'* on which 
Christ there "commands the blessing." It is to 
have strong and hearty affections to peace, to be 
peaceable-minded; for making, in scripture, notes 
the bent and inclination of the soul. As to make 
a lie, is to be given to lying; so to make peace, 
is to be addicted to peace, to have a disposition 
in the soul ready to command the peace, when 
there is, at any time, any kind of disturbance* 

* Dr. Hamroond, Prac, Catech. p. 125. 



48 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

In a word, quietness of spirit is the soul's still- 
ness, and silence from intending provocation to, 
or resenting provocation from, any one with 
whom we have to do. 

The word hath something in it of a metaphor, 
which we would choose fairly to prosecute for the 
illustration of the grace of meekness. 

1. We must be quiet, as the air is quiet from 
winds. Disorderly passions are like stormy winds 
in the soul, they toss and hurry it, and often split, 
or strand, or overset it. They move it " as the 
trees of the wood are moved with the wind. It is 
the prophet*s comparison, Isa. vii. 2. and it is an 
apt emblem of a man in passion. Now meekness 
restrains these winds, saith to them, " Peace, be 
still ;" and so preserves a calm in the soul, and 
makes it conformable to him, who hath the wind 
in his fists; and is herein to be praised, that even 
the stormy winds fulfil his word. A brisk gale is 
often useful, especially to the " ships of desire,'* 
as the Hebrew phrase is. Job ix. 26. so there 
should be in the soul such a warmth and vigour, 
as will help to speed us to the desired harbour. 
It is not well to lie wind-bound in dulness and 
indifferency; but tempests are perilous, yea, 
though the wind be in the right point; so are 
strong passions even in good men, they both hin- 
der the voyage and hazard the ship: such a quick- 
ness as consists with quietness, is what we should 
all labour after, and meekness will contribute very 
much towards it; it will silence the noise, con- 
troul the force, moderate the impetus, and cor- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 49 

rect all undue and disorderly transports. What 
manner of grace is this, that even the winds and 
the seas obey it ? If we will but use the authority 
God hath given us over our own hearts, we may 
keep the winds * of passion under the command 
of religion and reason, and then the soul is quiet, 
the sun shines, all is pleasant, serene, and smil- 
ing, and the man sleeps sweetly and safely on the 
lee-side. We make our voyage among rocks and 
quicksands, but if the weather be calm, we can 
the better steer so as to avoid them, and by a 
due care and temper hit the mean between ex- 
tremes ; whereas he that suffers these winds of pas- 
sion to get head, and spreads a large sail before 
them, while he shunsone rock splits upon another^ 
and is in danger of being drowned in destruction 
and perdition, by many foolish and hurtful lusts, 
especially those whence wars and fightings come. 
2. We must be quiet, as the sea is quiet from 
waves. The wicked (whose sin and punishment 
doth lie in the unruliness of their own souls, and 
the violence and disorder of their own passions, 
which perhaps will not be the least of their 
eternal torments) are compared to " the troubled 
sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast forth 
mire and dirt," Isa. Ivii. 20. that is, they are un- 
easy to themselves, and to all about them, ** rag- 
ing waves of the sea," (so they are described, 
Jude 13.) " foaming out their own shame j" their 
hard speeches which they speak against God, 

* i^olus sis affectum tuorum. Neiremb. 
15 • " " "' > G 



^50 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



(ver. 15.), and dignities (ver. 8.) and things which 
they know not (verse 10.), their great swelling 
words (verse 16.), and mockings (verse 18.); these 
are the shame they foam out. Now meekness is 
a grace of the vSpirit, that moves upon the face 
of the waters, and quiets them, smooths the ruf- 
fled sea, and stills the noise of it (it is now mare 
pacificuni), it casts forth none of the mire and dirt 
of passion. The waves mount not up to the 
heaven in proud and vain-glorious boastings ; go 
not down to the depths, to scrape up vile and 
scurrilous language; no reeling to and fro, as men 
overcome with drink, or with their own passion, 
which is all one, (for if wine be a mocker, and 
strong drink raging, Pro v. xxi. 1. anger is no less 
so), none of that transport which brings them to 
their wit's end. I refer to the Psalmist's descrip- 
tion of a storm. Psalm cxvii, 26, 27- but as it fol- 
lows there, verse SO. " They are glad because 
they are quiet, so he bringeth them to their de- 
sired haven." This calmness and evenness of 
spirit makes our passage over the sea of this world 
safe and pleasant, quick and speedy towards the 
desired harbour, and is amiable and exemplary in 
the eyes of others — such a path doth the meek 
and quiet Christian make to shine after him. 
One would think the deep to be hoary. 

3. We must be quiet, as the land is quiet from 
war. It was the observable felicity of Asa's reign, 
that in his days " the land was quiet," 2 Chron. 
xiv. 1, 5. In the preceding reigns there was no 
peace to him that went out, or to him that came 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 51 

in, whether outward bound or homeward bound, 
they were exposed to great vexations, chap. xv. 
5, but now the rumours and alarms of war were 
stilled, and the people " delivered from the noise 
of archers at the place of drawing waters,*' as 
when the land had rest in Deborah's time, Judg.. 
V. 11. Such a quietness there should be in the 
soul, and such a quietness there will be where 
meekness sways the sceptre. A soul inflamed 
with wrath and passion upon all occasions, is like 
a kingdom embroiled in war, in a civil war, sub- 
ject to continual frights, and losses, and perils. 
Deaths and terrors, in their most horrid shapes, 
walk triumphantly; sleeps disturbed, families bro- 
ken, friends suspected, enemies feared, laws silen- 
ced, commerce ruined, business neglected, cities 
wasted, such heaps upon heaps doth ungoverned 
anger lay when it is let loose in the soul, Jusque- 
datum sceleriy &c. But meekness makes these 
wars to cease, breaks the bow, cuts the spear, 
sheathes the sword, and, in the midst of a con-, 
tentious world, preserves the soul from being the 
seat of war, and makes peace in those borders. 
The rest of the soul is not disturbed, its comforts 
not plundered, its government not disordered, 
the laws of religion and reason rule, and not the 
sword : the trading duties are not interrupted j 
neither its communion with God, nor its com- 
munion with the saints intercepted ; no breaking 
in of temptation ; no going out of corruption ; no 
complaining in the streets ; no occasion given, no 
occasion taken, to complain, " Happy is the soul 



52 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

that is in such a case," Psal. cxliv. 14, 15. " The 
words of such wise men are heard in quiet, more 
than the cry of him that ruleth among fools, and 
this wisdom is better than weapons of war," 
Eccl. ix. 17> 18. This is the quietness we should 
every one of us labour after, and is what we might 
attain to, if we would but more support and ex- 
ercise the authority of our graces, (which are as 
the commissioners of the peace), and guide and 
control the power of our passions (which are as 
the commissioners of array) in our souls. 

4. We must be quiet, as the child is quiet af- 
ter weaning. It is the Psalmist's comparison, 
Psal. cxxxi. 2. " I have behaved" (or rather, I 
have composed, so Ainsworth reads it) " and 
quieted myself," (my soul, Heb. for our souls are 
ourselves, and our principal care must be con- 
cerning them) " as a child that is weaned of his 
mother, my soul is even as a weaned child." A 
child, while it is in the weaning, perhaps is a little 
cross and froward, and troublesome for a time; 
but when it is perfectly weaned, how quickly 
doth it forget the breast, and accommodate itself 
to its new way of feeding : Thus a quiet soul, if 
provoked by the denial or loss of some creature 
comforts or delight that hath been dear, quiets 
itself, and doth not fret at it, nor perplex itself 
with anxious cares how to live without it, but 
composeth itself to make the best of that which 
is. If wormwood be put upon the breasts, which 
we have called the breasts of our consolation, it 
is but to make us indifferent to them, and we 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 53 



must set ourselves to answer that intention, and 
sit loose to them accordingly. And this holy in- 
differency to the delights of sense, is (like the 
weaning of a child) a good step taken towards 
the perfect man, the measure of the stature of 
the fulness of Christ*. A child newly weaned 
is free from all the uneasiness and disquietment 
of care, and fear, and envy, and anger, and re- 
venge. How undisturbed are its sleeps, and even 
then its dreams pleasant and smiling I How easy 
its days ! How quiet its nights ! If put into a 
little pet now and then, how soon is it over, the 
provocation forgiven, the sense of it forgotten, 
and both buried in an innocent kiss I Thus, if 
ever we would enter into the kingdom of heaven, 
we must be converted from pride, envy, ambi- 
tion, and strife for precedency, and must become 
like little children t. So our Saviour hath told 
us, (who, even after his resurrection, is called 
"the holy child Jesus," Acts iv. 27.) Matth. xviii. 
3. And even when we have put away our chil- 
dish things, yet still in malice we must be chil- 
dren, 1 Cor. xiv. 20. And as for the quarrels of 
others, in all broils and heats, a meek and quiet 
Christian endeavours to be as disinterested, and 
as little engaged, as a weaned child in the moth- 

* Yet corrupt passions appear betimes. Vidi zelantem 
parvulum qui iutuebatur pallidus amaro aspectu collacta- 
neum suum. Attg. Conf* L 7. 

f Et si cito pueri inter se moventur, facile sedantur et 
najori suavitate in se recurrant ; nesciunt se subdole artifi-' 
dosque tractare. Amb, de Offic, 1. 1. c. 21. . r wj^ij 



54 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

er's arms, that is not capable of such angry re- 
sentments. 

This is that meekness and quietness of spirit 
which is here recommended to us, such a com- 
mand and composure of the soul, as that it be not 
unhinged by any provocation whatsoever, but all 
its powers and faculties preserved in due temper, 
for the just discharge of their respective offices. 
In a word, " Put off all wrath, and anger, and 
malice," Col. iii. 8. (those corrupted limbs of the 
old man); pluck up and cast away those roots of 
bitterness, and stand upon a constant guard 
against all the exorbitances of your own passion, 
and then you will soon know, to your comfort, bet- 
ter than I can tell you, what it is to be of a meek 
and quiet spirit. 



CHAP. II. 

THE EXCELLENCY OF MEEKNESS AND QUIETNESS 
OF SPIRIT. 

The very opening of this cause, one would 
think, were enough to carry it ; and the explain- 
ing of the nature of meekness and quietness, 
should suffice to recommend it to us. Such an 
amiable sweetness doth there appear in it, upon 
the very first view j if we look upon this beauty, 
we cannot but be enamoured with it. But be- 
cause of the opposition that there is in our cor- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 55 

rupt hearts to that, as to the other graces of the 
holy Spirit, I shall endeavour more particularly 
to show the excellency of it, that we may be 
brought (if possible) to be in love with it, and to 
submit our souls to the charming power of it. 

It is said, Prov.xvii. 27. that " a man of under- 
standing is of an excellent spirit." — He is frigi- 
dus spiritUy soTremellius, he is **of a cool spirit;'* 
put them together, and it teacheth us, that a cool 
spirit is an excellent spirit, and he is a man of 
understanding that is governed by such a spirit. 
The text tells us, (what need we more ?) that " it 
is in the sight of God of great price;" and we 
may be sure, that is precious indeed which is so 
in God's sight; that is good, very good, which he 
pronounceth so; for his judgment is according to 
truth, and sooner or later he will bring all the 
world to be of his mind; for as he hath decided 
it, so shall our doom be, and he will be "justified 
when he speaketh, and clear when he judgeth." 

The excellency of a meek and quiet spirit will 
appear, if we consider the credit of it, and the 
comfort of it, the present profit there is by it, and 
the preparedness there is in it for something fur- 
ther. 

(1.) Consider how creditable a meek and quiet 
spirit is. Credit and reputation is a thing which 
most people are very sensibly touched with the 
ambition of, though few consider aright either 
what it is, or what is the right way of obtaining it, 
and particularly it is little believed, what a great 
deal of true honour there is in the grace of meek- 



56 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS. 

ness, and what a sure and ready way mild and 
quiet souls take to gain the good word of their 
Master, and of all their fellow-servants, that love 
our Master, and are like him. 

Let us see what credit there is in meekness. 

1. There is in it the credit of a victory. What 
a great figure do the names of high and mighty 
conquerors make in the records of Fame ! How 
is their conduct, their valour, and success more 
than either, cried up and celebrated ! But if we 
will believe the word of truth, and pass a judg- 
ment upon things according to the rules of that, 
" He that is slow to anger, is better than the 
mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that 
taketh a city," Prov. xvi. 32. Behold a greater 
than Alexander or Caesar is here; the former of 
which (some think) lost more true honour, by 
yielding to his own ungoverned anger, than he 
got by all his conquests. No triumphant chariot 
so easy, so safe, so truly glorious, as that in which 
the meek and quiet soul rides over all the pro- 
vocations of an injurious world, with a gracious 
unconcernedness : no train so splendid, so noble, 
as that train of comforts and graces which attend 
this chariot. The conquest of an unruly passion 
is more honourable than that of an unruly people, 
for it requires more true conduct. It is easier to 
kill an enemy without us, which may be done at 
a blow, than to chain up and govern an enemy 
within us, which requires a constant, even, steady 
hand, and a long and regular management. It 
was more the honour of David to yi^ld himself 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 57 

^% v* *»%**.*»■*%%*%*%**♦**» *^ ******* *^ **** ■•^ ** *^ ♦^^ *•*** *^ ********** *^ ******** 

conquered by Abigail's persuasions, than to have 
made himself a conqueror over Nabal and all 
his house. A rational victory must needs be 
allowed more honourable to a rational crea- 
ture than a brutal one. This is a cheap, safe, 
and unbloody conquest, that doth nobody any 
harm ; no lives, no treasures are sacrificed to it; 
the glory of these triumphs are not stained as 
others used to be with funerals. «* Every battle 
of the warrior," saith the prophet, Isa. ix. 5. "is 
with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; 
but this shall be with burning, even by the Spirit 
of the Lord of Hosts, as a spirit of judgment 
and a spirit of burning." Nay, in meek and quiet 
suffering, we are "more than conquerors, through 
Christ that loved us," Rom. viii. 37. conquerors 
with little loss; we lose nothing but the gratify- 
ing of a base lust: conquerors with great gain, 
the spoils we divide are very rich, the favour of 
God, the comforts of the Spirit, the foretastes of 
everlasting pleasures; these are more glorious 
and excellent than the mountains of prey. We 
are more than conquerors; that is, triumphers, 
we live a life of victory : every day is a day of 
triumph in the meek and quiet soul. 

Meekness is a victory over ourselves, and the 
rebellious lusts in our own bosoms; it is the quiet- 
ing of intestine broils, the stilling of an insurrec- 
tion at home, which is oftentimes more hard to 
do than to resist a foreign invasion. It is an 
effectual victory over those that injure us, and 
make themselves enemies to us, and is often a 

15 H 



^58 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



means of winning their hearts. The law of meek- 
Bess is, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he 
thirst," not only "give him drink, (which is an 
act of charity), but drink to him, in token of 
friendship and true love and reconciliation; and 
ffin so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon 
his head,'* not to consume him, but to melt and 
mollify him, that he may be cast into a new mould; 
and thus, while the angry and revengeful man, 
that will bear down all before him with a high 
hand, is overcome of evil, the patient and forgiv- 
ing overcome evil with good, Rom. xii. 20, 21. 
and forasmuch as their ways please the Lord, he 
maketh even their enemies to be at peace with 
them, Prov. xvi. J, Nay, meekness is a victory 
over Satan, the greatest enemy of all. What con- 
quest can sound more great than that? It is writ- 
ten for caution to us all, and it reflects honour on 
those who through grace overcome, that **we 
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against 
principalities and powers, and the rulers of the 
darkness of this world,*' Eph. vi. 12. The mag- 
nifying of the adversary, magnifies the victory 
over him: such as these are the meek man's van- 
quished enemies, the spoils of these are the tro- 
phies of his victory. It is the design of the de- 
vil, that great deceiver and destroyer of souls, 
that is baffled; it is his attempt that is defeated, 
his assault that is repulsed, by our meekness and 
quietness. Our Lord Jesus was more admired 
for controlling and commanding the unclean spi- 
rits, than for any other cures he wrought: unruly 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 5ff^ 

passions are unclean spirits, legions of which some 
souls are possessed willi, and desperate outrage- 
ous work they make, the soul becomes like that 
miserable creature, Mark v. 3, 4, 5. that cried 
and cut himself; or that, Mark ix. ^2. who was 
so often cast into the fire and into the waters. 
The meek and quiet soul is through grace a con- 
queror over these enemies; their fiery darts are 
quenched by the shield of faith, Satan is in some 
measure trode under his feet, and the victory will 
be complete shortly, when "he that overcometh 
shall sit down with Christ upon his throne, even 
as he overcame, and is set down with the Father 
upon his throne," where he still appears in the 
emblem of his meekness, "a Lamb as it had been 
slain," Rev. v. 6. And upon mount Zion, at the 
head of his heavenly hosts, he appears also as a 
Lamb, Rev. xiv. 1. Such is the honour meek- 
ness hath in those higher regions. 

2. There is in it the credit of a beauty. The 
beauty of a thing consists in the symmetry, har- 
mony, and agreeableness of all the parts. Now 
what is meekness, but the soul's agreement with 
itself? It is the joint concurrence of all the af- 
fections to the universal peace and quiet of the 
soul, every one regularly acting in its own place 
and order, and so contributing to the common 
good. Next to the beauty of holiness, which i^ 
the soul's agreement with God, is the beauty 
of meekness, which is the soul's agreement \vith 
itself. Behold how good and how pleasant a thing 
it is, for the powers of the soul thus to dwell to-* 



60 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

gether in unity, the reason knowing how to rule, 
and the affections at the same time knowing how 
to obey. Exorbitant passion is a discord in the 
soul; it is like a tumour in the face, which spoils 
the beauty of it: meekness scatters the humour, 
binds down the swelling, and so prevents the de- 
formity, and preserves the beauty. This is one 
instance of the comeliness of grace, through "my 
comeliness," saith God to Israel, (Ezek. xvi. 14.) 
"which 1 had put upon thee.'* It puts a charm- 
ing loveliness and amiableness upon the soul, 
which renders it acceptable to all that know what 
true worth and beauty is. " He that in right- 
eousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," 
(i. e. in Christian meekness and quietness of spi- 
rit), serveth Christ, is acceptable " to God, and 
approved of men," Rom. xiv. 17, 18. And to 
whom else can we wish to recommend ourselves? 
Solomon (a very competent judge of beauty) 
hath determined, that it is " a man's wisdom that 
makes his face to shine," Eccl. viii. 1. and doubt- 
less the meekness of wisdom contributes as much 
as any one branch of it to this lustre. We read 
in scripture of three whose faces shone remark- 
ably, and they were all eminent for meekness. 
The face of Moses shone, Exod. xxxiv. 30. and 
he was the meekest of all the men on earth. The 
face of Stephen shone, Act vi. 15. and he it was, 
who, in the midst of a shower of stones, so meek- 
ly submitted, and prayed for his persecutors. The 
face of our Lord Jesus shone in his transfigura- 
tion, and he was the great pattern of meekness. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 61 

It is a sweet and pleasing air which this grace 
puts upon the countenance, while it keeps the 
soul in tune, and frees it from those jarring ill- 
favoured discords, which are the certain effect of 
an ungoverned passion. 

3. There is in it the credit of an ornament. 
The text speaks of it as an adorning much more 
excellent and valuable than gold, pearls, or the 
most costly array, much more recommending 
than all the bravery of the daughters of Zion. 
It is an adorning to the soul, the principal, the 
immortal part of the man. The outward adorning 
doth but deck and beautify the body, which at 
the best is but a sister to the worms, and will ere 
long be a feast for them ; but this is the ornament 
of the soul, by which we are allied to the invisible 
world; it is an adorning that recommends us to 
God, which is in his sight of great price: so the 
text saith, and in that saith enough to its praise. 
Ornaments go by estimation: now we may be 
sure the judgment of God is right and unerring. 
Every thing is indeed as it is with God: those are 
righteous indeed that are "righteous before 
God/' Luke 1. 6. and that is an ornament indeed, 
which he calls and counts so. It is an ornament 
of God's own making. Is the soul thus decked? 
It is he that hath decked it. " By his Spirit he 
hath garnished the heavens. Job xxvi. 13. and 
by the same Spirit hath he garnished the meek 
and quiet soul. It is an ornament of his accept- 
ing, (it must needs be so if it be of his own 
working), for to him that hath this ornament, 



m A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

more adorning shall be given. He hath promised, 
Psal. cxlix. 4. that he will "beautify the meek 
with salvation:" and if the garments of salvation 
will not beautify, what will? The robes of glory 
will be the everlasting ornament of the meek and 
quiet spirits. This meekness is an ornament that 
(like the Israelites* clothes in the wilderness) 
never waxeth old, nor will ever go out of fashion, 
while right reason and religion have any place 
in the world. All wise and good people will rec- 
kon those best dressed who put on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and walk with him in the white of 
meekness and innocency. Solomon, in all his 
glory, was not arrayed like one of these lilies of 
the valley, though lilies among thorns. 

The same ornament, which in the text is re- 
commended to wives, is by the same apostle re* 
commended to us all, 1 Peter v. 5* Yea, all of 
you be subject one to another:" That explains 
what meekness is; it is that mutual yielding which 
we owe one to another, for edification, and in the 
fear of God, Eph. v. 21. This seems to be a hard 
saying, how shall we digest it? an impracticable 
duty, how shall we conquer it? why, it follows, 
** Be clothed with humility." (1.) The fixedness 
of this grace. We must gird it fast to us, and 
not leave it to hang loose, so as to be snatched 
away by every temptation. Carelessness is no 
commendation of the soul's adorning; watchful- 
ness and resolution in the strength of Christ, must 
tie the knot upon our graces, and make them as 
the girdle that cleaves to a man's loins. (^.) The 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 63 

comeliness and ornament of it : Put it on as a 
knot of ribbons, as an ornament to the souU 
Such is the meekness of wisdom, it gives to the 
head an "ornament of grace,'' and, which is 
more, "a crown of glory," Prov. i. 9. and iv. 9. 

4. There is ia it the credit of true courage *. 
Meekness is commonly despised, and run down 
by the grandees of the age, as a piece of cowar- 
dice and mean-spiritedness, and the evidence of 
a little soul, and is posted accordingly; while the 
most furious and angry revenges are celebrated 
and applauded under the pompous names of va- 
lour, honour, and greatness of spirit, which aris- 
eth from a mistaken notion of courage, the true 
nature whereof is thus stated by a very ingeni- 
ous pen t, that it is *a resolution never to decline 
any evil of pain, when the choosing of it, and the 
exposing of ourselves to it, is the only remedy 
against a greater evil.' And, therefore, he that 
accepts a challenge, and so runs himself upon the 
evil of sin, which is the greater evil, only for fear 
of shame and reproach, which is the less evil, he 
is the coward; while he that refuseth the chal- 
lenge, and so exposeth himself to reproach, for 
fear of sin t, he is the valiant man. True cour- 
age is such a presence of mind, as enableth a 
man rather to suffer than to sin, tochoose afflic- 

* Magni animi est proprium, placidum esse et injurias 
superne despicere. Sen. 

f Norris Miscell. p. J 07, 188. 

% Paul did show more true valour, when he said, " I can 
do nothing against the truth," than Goliah did, when he 
defied all the host of Israel. Ward. t - _ ".j 



64f A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

tion rather than iniquity, to pass by an affront, 
though he lose by it, and be hissed at for a fool 
and a sneak, rather than to engage in a sinful 
quarrel. He that can deny the brutal lust of an- 
ger and revenge, rather than violate the royal 
law of love and charity, (however contrary the 
sentiments of the world may bej, he is truly re- 
solute and courageous. " The Lord is with thee, 
thou mighty man of valour." Fretting and vex- 
ing is the fruit of the weakness of women and 
children, but much below the strength of man, 
especially of the new man, that is born from 
above. When our Lord Jesus is described in his 
majesty, riding prosperously, the glory he appears 
in, is truth, and meekness, and righteousness, 
Psal. xlv. 4. The courage of those who over- 
come this great red dragon of wrath and revenge, 
by meek and patient suffering, and by "not lov- 
ing their lives unto the death. Rev. xii. 11, wijl 
turn to the best and most honourable account on 
the other side the grave, and will be crowned 
with glory, and honour, and immortality : when 
those that caused their terror in the land of the 
living, fall ingloriously, and "bear their shame 
with them that go down to the pit," Ezek. xxxii. 
24*. 

5, The credit of a conformity to the best pat- 
terns. The resemblance of those that are con- 
fessedly excellent and glorious, hath in it an ex- 
cellence and glory. To be meek, is to be like 
the greatest saints, the elders that obtained a 
good report, and were of renown in their gene- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 65 

ration. It is to be like the greatest angels, whose 
meekness in their converse with, and ministration 
to the saints, is very observable in the scriptures : 
nay, it is to be like the great God himself, whose 
goodness is his glory, (who is Deus optimus, and 
therefore maximus)^ who is slow to anger, and in 
whom fury is not, Isa. xxvii. 4. We are then 
'* followers of God as dear children," when we 
** walk in love, and are kind one to another, ten- 
der-hearted, forgiving one another,'* Eph. v. 1, 
2. compare chap. iv. 2. The more quiet and se- 
date we are, the more like we are to that God, 
who, though he be nearly concerned in all the af- 
fairs of this lower world, is yet far from being 
moved by its most violent convulsions and revo- 
lutions; but as he was from eternity, so he is and 
will be to eternity, infinitely happy in the enjoy- 
ment of himself. It is spoken to his praise and 
glory, Psal. xxix. 10. *' The Lord sits upon the 
floods," even then, when ** the floods have lifted 
up their voice, have lifted up their waves," Psal. 
xciii. 4. Such is the rest of the Eternal Mind, 
that he sits * as firm and undisturbed upon the 
moveable flood, as upon the immoveable rock, 
" the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." And 
the meek and quiet soul, that preserves its peace 
and evenness against all the ruffling insults of 
passion and provocation, doth thereby somewhat 
participate of a divine nature, 2 Peter i. 4. 

* Quod desideras magnum et sumraum est Deoque vici- 
num, non concuti. Sen. — Diis proximus ille est, quem ratio 
non ira movet. Claud, . . 

16 I 



66 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

Let the true honour, that attends this grace of 
meekness, recommend it to us. It is one of those 
things that are honest, and pure, and lovely, and 
of good report ; a virtue that hath a praise attend- 
ing it, Phil. iv. 8. A praise, perhaps not of the 
most of men, but of God, Rom. ii. 29. It is the 
certain way to get and keep, if not a great name, 
yet a good name; such as is better than precious 
ointment Though there be those that trample 
upon the meek of the earth, and look upon them 
as Michal upon David, despising them in their 
hearts; yet if this is to be vile, let us be yet more 
vile and base in our own sight, and we shall find, 
(as David argues there), that there are those, of 
whom we shall be had in honour sooner or latter, 
2 Sam. vi. 22. for the word of Christ shall not 
fall to the ground, that those who "humble 
themselves shall be exalted." 

(2.) Consider how comfortable a meek and 
quiet spirit is. Inward comfort is a desirable 
good, which hath more in it of reality, and de- 
pends less upon opinion, than that of credit : and 
this is that which meekness and quietness of 
spirit hath such a direct tendency to, nay, which 
it carries along with it. What is true comfort 
and pleasure, but a quietness in our own bosom ? 
Those are most easy to themselves, that are so 
to all about them ; whilst they that are a burden 
and a terror to others, will not be otherwise 
to themselves. He that would lead a quiet, must 
lead a peaceable life, 1 Tim. ii. 2. The surest 
way to find rest to our souls, is to "learn of him 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 67 

who is meek and lowly in heart," Matth. xi. ^9. 
Let but ** our moderation be known unto all men; 
and the peace of God, which passeth all under- 
standing, will keep our hearts and minds," Phil, 
iv. 5, 7» Quietness is the thing, which even the 
busy noisy part of the world pretend to desire 
and pursue ; they will be quiet, yea, they will, 
or they wfU know why ; they will not endure the 
least disturbance of their quietness. But verily 
they go a mad way to work in pursuit of quiet- 
ness; greatly to disquiet themselves inwardly, 
and put their souls into a continual hurry, only 
to prevent or remedy some small outward dis- 
quietment from others. But he that is meek, 
finds a sweeter, safer quietness, and much greater 
comfort, than that which they in vain pursue. 
•* Great peace have they that love this law of 
love, for nothing shall offend them," Psal. cxix. 
165. Whatever offence is intended, it is not so 
interpreted, and by that means the peace is pre- 
served. If there be a heaven any where upon 
earth, it is in the meek and quiet soul, that acts 
and breathes above that lower region, which is 
infested with storms and tempests, the harmony 
of whose faculties is like the music of the spheres 
they talk of, a perpetual melody. "Mercy and 
truth are met together, righteousness and peace 
have kissed each other." 

A meek and quiet Christian must needs live 
very comfortably, for he enjoys himself, he en- 
joys his friends, he enjoys his God, and he puts 
it out of the reach of his enemies to disturb him 
in these enjoyments. 



68 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS. 

1 . He enjoys himself. Meekness is very near- 
ly allied to that patience which our Lord Jesus 
prescribes to us, as necessary to the keeping of 
the possession of our own souls, Luke xxi. 19. 
How calm are the thoughts, how serene are the 
affections, how rational the prospects, and how 
even and composed are all the resolves of the 
meek and quiet soul * ! How free from the pains 
and tortures of the angry man, who is disseized 
and dispossessed even of himself, and while he 
toils and vexes to make other things his own, 
makes his own soul not so ! His reason is in a 
mist, confounded and bewildered, cannot argue, 
infer, or foresee with any certainty. His affec- 
tions are upon the full speed, hurried on with an 
impetus, which is as uneasy as it is hazardous. 
Who is that good man that is t" satisfied from 
himself?" Prov. xiv. 14. Who but the quiet man 
that needs not go abroad for satisfaction, but hav- 
ing Christ dwelling in his heart by faith, hath in 
him that peace, which the world can neither give 
nor take away ? While those that are fretful and 
passionate, rise up early, and sit up late, and eat 
the bread of sorrow in pursuit of revengeful pro- 
jects, the God of peace " giveth to his beloved 
(Jedidiah's, one of Solomon's names, who was a 
man of peace) sleep," Psal. cxxvii. 2. The sleep 



» 



Opinion is the rate of things, 

From whence our peace doth flow : 

I have a better fate than kings, 

Because I think it so. — Mrs. Phillips. 
t Ne te quaesiveris extra. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 69 



of the meek is quiet, and sweet, and undisturbed. 
Those that by innocency and mildness make them- 
selves the sheep of Christ, shall be made to lie 
down in the green pastures, Psal. xxiii. 2. That 
which would break an angry man's heart, will 
not break a meek man's sleep. It is promised, 
Psalm xxii. 26. that "the meek shall eat and 
be satisfied.'* He hath what sweetness is to be 
had in his common comforts, whilst the angry 
man either cannot eat — his stomach is too full and 
too high, as Ahab, 1 Kings xxi. 4. — or eats and 
is not satisfied, unless he can be revenged, as 
Haman, Est. v. 12, 13. " All this avails me no- 
thing," (though it was a banquet of wine with 
the king and queen), " as long as Mardecai is 
unhanged.'* 

It is spoken of as the happiness of the meek, 
that they " delight themselves in the abundance 
of peace," Psal. xxxvii. 1 1. Others may delight 
themselves in the abundance of wealth ; a poor 
delight, that is enterwoven with so much trouble 
and disquietment ; but the meek, though they 
have but little wealth, have peace, abundance 
of peace, peace like a river, and this such as they 
have a heart to delight themselves in ; sat lucis 
intus, as Oecolampadius said, their souls are a 
Goshen in the midst of the Egypt of this world ; 
they have light in their dwelling, when clouds 
and darkness are round about them. This is the 
joy which a stranger doth not meddle with. We 
may certainly have (and we would do well to 
consider it) less inward disturbance, and more 



70 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

true ease and satisfaction, in forgiving twenty 
injuries, than in avenging one. No doubt Abi- 
gail intended more than she expressed, when, to 
pacify David, and to persuade him to pass by 
the affront which Nabal had given him, she pru» 
dently suggested, that " hereafter this shall be no 
grief unto thee, nor offence of heart,'* 1 Sam. xxv. 
31. Not only so, but it would be very sweet and 
easy, and comfortable in the reflection. Such a 
rejoicing is it, especially in a suffering day, to 
have the testimony of conscience, " that in sim- 
plicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wis- 
dom, but by the grace of God," particularly the 
grace of meekness, " we have had our conversa- 
tion in the world," 2 Cor. i. 12. and so have plea- 
sed God, and done our duty. He did not speak 
the sense, no, not of the sober heathen, that said 
JEst vindicta bonuniy vita jocundius ipsa, revenge 
is sweeter than life, for it often proves more bit- 
ter than death. 

2. He enjoys his friends. — And that is a thing 
in which lies much of the comfort of human life. 
Man was intended to be a sociable creature, and 
a Christian much more. But the angry man is 
unfit to be so, that takes fire at every provoca- 
tion ; fitter to be abandoned to the lions* den, 
and the mountains of the leopards, than to go 
forth by the footsteps of the flock. He that hath 
" his hand against every man," cannot but have 
(with Ishmael's character, IsmaePs fate) "every 
man's hand against him," Gen. xvi. 12. and so 
he lives in a state of war ; but meekness is the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 71 

cement of society, the bond of Christian com- 
nfiunion ; it planeth and polisheth the material of 
that beautiful fabric, and makes them lie close 
and tight, and the living stones, which are built 
up a spiritual house, to be like the stones of the 
temple that Herod built, all as one stone, where- 
as, * hard upon hard' (as the Spaniard's proverb 
is) * will never make a wall.' Meekness preserves 
among brethren that unity, which is like the oint- 
ment upon the holy head, and the dew upon the 
holy hill. Psalm cxxxiii. 1,2. In our present 
state of imperfection, there can be no friendship, 
correspondence, or conversation maintained with- 
out mutual allowances: We do not yet dwell with 
angels, or spirits of just men made perfect, but 
with men subject to like passions. Now, meek- 
ness teacheth us to consider this, and to allow 
accordingly ; and so distances and strangeness, 
feuds and quarrels, are happily prevented, and 
the beginnings of them crushed by a timely care. 
How necessary to true friendship it is to surren- 
der our passions, and to subject them all to the 
laws of it, was perhaps intimated by Jonathan's 
delivering to David his sword, and his bow, and 
his girdle, all his military habiliments, when he 
entered into a covenant of friendship with him, 
1 Sam. xviii. 8, 4). 

9. He enjoys his God, and that is most com- 
fortable of all. It is the quintessence of all hap. 
piness, and that without which all our other en- 
joyments are sapless and insipid ; for this, none 
are better qualified than those that are arrayed 



7^ A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

with the " ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, 
which is in the sight of God of great price." 
It was when the Psalmist had newly conquered 
an unruly passion, and composed himself, that 
he lifted up his soul to God in that pious and 
pathetic breathing, " Whom have I in heaven 
but thee ? and there is none upon earth that I 
desire in comparison of thee," Psal. Ixxiii. 25. 
We enjoy God, when we have the evidences and 
assurances of his favour, the tastes and tokens of 
his love, when we experience in ourselves the 
communications of his grace, and the continued 
instances of his image stamped upon us: and this 
those that are most meek and quiet have usually 
the greatest degrees of. In our wrath and passion 
we give place to the devil, and so provoke God 
to withdraw from us. Nothing grieves the Holy 
Spirit of God, (by whom we have fellowship with 
the Father), more than bitterness, and wrath, 
and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, Eph. 
iv. 30, 81. But to this man doth the God of Hea- 
ven look with a peculiar regard, "even to him that 
is poor," poor in spirit, (Isa. Ixvi. 2.) " to him 
that is quiet," so the Syriac; **to him that is 
meek," so the Chaldee. The great God overlooks 
heaven and earth, to give a favourable look to 
the meek and quiet soul. Nay, he not only looks 
at such, but, Isa. Ivii. 15, " he dwells with them," 
noting a constant intercourse and communion 
between God and humble souls. His secret is 
with them; he gives them more grace; and 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 73 

they that thus dwell in love, dwell in God, and 
God in them. The waters were dark indeed, but 
they were quiet, when the Spirit of God moved 
upon them, and out of them produced a beauti- 
ful world. 

This calm and sedate frame doth very much 
qualify and dispose us for the reception and en- 
tertainment of divine visits, and sets bounds to 
the mountain (Exod. xix. 12.) on which God is 
to descend, that no interruption might break in, 
and chargeth the daughters of Jerusalem, by the 
roes and the hinds of the field (those sweet, and 
gentle, and peaceable creatures), not to stir up 
or awake our love till he please. Can. ii. 7» Some 
think it was for the quieting and composing of 
his spirit (which seems to have been a little ruf- 
fled), that Elisha called for the minstrel, 2 Kings 
iii. 15. and then the hand of the Lord came up- 
on him. Never was God more intimate with 
any mere man than he was with Moses, the 
meekest of all the men on the earth. And it 
was required, as a needful qualification of the 
high priest, who was to draw near to minister, 
that he should have "compassion on the ignorant, 
and on them that are out of the way,'* Heb. v. 1, 
2. The meek will he guide in judgment, with a 
still small voice, which cannot be heard, when 
the passions are loud and tumultuous. The 
angry man, when he awakes, is still with the 
devil, contriving some malicious project : the 
meek and quiet man, when he awakes, is still with 
God, solacing himself in his favour. **Return un^ 
16 K 



^4f A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

to thy rest, O my soul," saith David, Psal. cxvi. 
7. when (ver. 6.) he had reckoned himself among 
the simple, i. e. the mild, innocent, and inoffen- 
sive people. ** Return to thy Noah," so the 
word is (for Noah had his name from rest, per- 
haps alluding to the rest which the dove found 
with Noah in the ark, when she could find none 
any where else). Those that are harmless and 
galless, and simple as doves, can with comfort re- 
turn to God as to their rest. It is excellently 
paraphrased by Mr Patrick, " God and thyself 
(my soul) enjoy ; in quiet rest, freed from thy 
fears." It is said, Psal. cxlvii. 6. that ** the Lord 
lifteth up the meek." As far as their meekness 
reigns, they are lifted up above the stormy region, 
and fixed in a sphere perpetually calm and serene. 
They are advanced indeed that are at home in 
God, and live a life of communion with him, not 
only in solemn ordinances, but even in the com- 
mon accidents and occurrences of the world. 
Every day is a Sabbath-day, a day of holy rest, 
with the meek and quiet soul, that is one of the 
days of heaven. As this grace gets ground, the 
comforts of the Holy Ghost grow stronger and 
stronger, according to that precious promise, 
Isa. xxix. 19. " The meek also shall increase 
their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men 
shall rejoice in the holy One of Israel." 

4. It is not in the power of his enemies to 
disturb and interrupt him in these enjoyments. 
His peace is not only sweet, but safe and secure : 
as far as he acts under the law of meekness, it 

A 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 



75 



is above the reach of the assaults of those that 
wish ill to it. He that abides quietly under the 
shadow of the Almighty, shall surely be delivered 
from the snare of the fowlers, Psal. xci. 1,3. 
The greatest provocations that men can give 
would not hurt us, if we did not *, by our inor- 
dinate and foolish concern, come too near them, 
and within reach of their cannon ; we may there- 
fore thank ourselves if we be damaged. He that 
hath learned, with meekness and quietness, to 
forgive injuries, and pass them by, hath found 
the best and surest way of baffling and defeating 
them t; nay, it is a kind of innocent revenge. 
It was an evidence that Saul was actuated by 
another spirit, in that, when the children of 
Belial despised him, and brought him no presents, 
hoping by that contempt to give a shock to his 
infant government, ** he held his peace," and so 
neither his soul nor his crown received any dis- 
turbance, 1 Sam. X. 27. Shimei, when he cursed 
David, intended thereby to pour vinegar into his 
wounds, and to add affliction to the afflicted ; 
but David, by his meekness, preserved his peace, 
and Shimei's design was frustrated, " so let him 
curse," (2 Sam. xvi. 10.) Alas, poor creature ! 
he hurts himself more than David, who, while 
he keeps his heart from being tinder to those 
sparks, is no more prejudiced by them, than the 

* Nemo laeditur nisi a se ipso. Diet. Diogen. 

\ Idcirco quis te Isedit ut doleas, quia fructus l£edentis in 
dolore laesi est ; ergo, cum fractum ejus everteris non dolendo, 
ipse doleat necesse est amissione fractus sui, improbum caedis 
sustinendo. Tertul. de Patieniia, cap. 8. 



76 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

moon is by the foolish cur that barks at it. The 
meek man's prayer is that of David, Psalm Ixi. 2. 
*' Lead me to the rock that is higher than I ;" 
And there I can (as Mr. Norris expresses it), 

*' Smile to see 

The shafts of fortune all drop short of me.'* 

The meek man is like a ship that rides at an- 
chor, movetuvy sednon amove tur ; the storm moves 
it, (the meek man is not a stock or stone under 
provocation), but doth not remove it from its 
port. It is a grace, that in reference to the temp- 
tations of affront and injury, as faith, in reference 
to temptation in general, " quencheth the fiery 
darts of the wicked*." It is armour of proof against 
the spiteful and envenomed arrows of provoca- 
tion, and it is an impregnable wall, to secure the 
peace of the soul there, where thief cannot break 
through to steal ; while the angry man lays all 
his comforts at the mercy of every wasp that will 
strike at him. 

So that, upon the whole matter, it appears 
that the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is 
as easy as it is comely. 

(3.) Consider how profitable a meek and quiet 
spirit is. All people are for what they can get ; 
it is that which the busy world is set upon, 
** Every one for his gain from his quarter,*' Isa. 

* Meekness is the greatest affront to all injuries in the 
world, for it returns them upon the injurious, and makes them 
useless, ineffective, and innocent. Taylor's Great Exempl 
p. 304. 



^. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 77 

Ivi. 11. It is for this that they break their sleep, 
and spend their spirits, and raise so great a dust. 
Now it will be hard to convince such, that really 
there is more to be gotten by meekness and quiet- 
ness of spirit, than by all this hurry and ado. 
They readily believe, that ** in all labour there 
is profit ;'* but let God himself tell them, ** In re- 
turning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness 
and in confidence shall be your strength ;" they 
will not take his word for it, but they say, (as it 
follows there) ** No, for we will flee upon horses, 
and we will ride upon the swift," Isa.xxx. 15, l6. 
He that came from heaven to bless us, hath en- 
tailed a special blessing upon the grace of meek- 
ness, Matth. v. 5. " Blessed are the meek j" and 
his saying, they are blessed, makes them so 5 for 
those whom he blesseth, are blessed indeed ; bless- 
ed, and they shall be blessed. 

Meekness is gainful and profitable. 

1. As it is the condition of the promise : The 
meek are therefore blessed, ** for they shall in- 
herit the earth." It is quoted from Psal. xxxvii. 
11. and is almost the only express promise of 
temporal good things in all the New Testament *• 
Not that the meek shall be put off with the earth 
only, then they would not be truly blessed, but 
they shall have that as an earnest of something 
more. Some read it, " They shall inherit the 
land," i. e, the land of Canaan, which was not 

^ As heaven is taken by violence, so is earth by meekness* 
Trap, in loc. 



UBRARY ST. i\1ARY'S COLLEaE 



78 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

only a type and figure, but to them that believ- 
ed, a token and pledge of the heavenly inherit- 
ance. So that a double Canaan (as Dr. Ham- 
mond observes) is thought little enough for the 
meek man *, the same felicity, in a manner, at- 
tending him, which we believe of Adam, if he 
had not fallen, a life in paradise, and from thence 
a transplantation to heaven. — But besides this, 
meekness is a branch of godliness, which hath 
more than other branches of it, the ** promise of 
the life that now is,'* 1 Tim. iv. 8. " They shall 
inherit the earth ;" the sweetest and surest tenure 
is that by inheritance, w^hich is founded in son- 
ship : that which comes by descent to the heir, 
the law attributes to the act of God, who hath a 
special hand in providing for the meek. They 
are his children ; and if children, then heirs." It 
is not always the largest proportion of this world's 
goods that falls to the meek man's share; but 
whether he hath more or less, he hath it by the 
best title ; not by common, but a covenant-right: 
he holds in capite t in Christ, our head, and hon- 
ourable tenure. 

If he hath but a little, he hath it from God's 
love, and with his blessing, and behold all things 
are clean and comfortable to him. The wise 
man hath determined it, Prov. xvii. 1. " Better 

• Pract. Cat. p. (mihi) 117. 

f Terram inhabitant quam sibi divinitus concessara esse 
norunt et secure agunt sub Dei tutela : et hoc illis satis est* 
donee mundi haereditatem ultimo die adeant. Feroces vero 
omnia possidendo nihil possident. Calv. on Mat. v. 5. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 79 



is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a 
house full of sacrifices with strife:" and chap. xv. 
17« " Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, 
than a stalled ox and hatred therewith." Be the 
commons ever so short, he that hath rule over his 
own spirit, knows how to make the best of them; 
how to "suck honey out of the rock, and oil out 
of the flinty rock," Deut, xxxii. 13. "Blessed 
are the meek, for they shall wield the earth ;" so 
old WicklifF's translation reads it, (as I remember 
it is quoted in the Book of Martyrs), and very 
significantly. Good management contributes 
more to our comfort than great possessions. What- 
ever a meek man hath of this earth, he knows 
how to wield it, to make a right and good use of 
it; that is all in all. Quiet souls so far inherit the 
earth, that they are sure to have as much of it as 
is good for them ; as much as will serve to bear 
their charges through this world to a better, and 
who would covet more ! Enough is as good as 
a feast. The promise of God, without present 
possession, is better than possession of the world, 
without an interest in the promise. 

2. As it hath in its own nature a direct ten- 
dency to our present benefit and advantage. 
" He that is thus wise, is wise for himself," even 
in this world, and eflPectually consults his own in- 
terest. 

1. Meekness hath a good influence upon our 
health. If envy be the rottenness of the bones," 
Prov. xiv. 30. meekness is the preservation of 
them. As the indulging of inordinate appetites 



80 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

toward those things that are pleasing to the flesh; 
so the indulging of inordinate passions against 
those things that are displeasing, do in the effect 
prejudice and injure the very body which they 
contend so much for. The excesses and exor- 
bitences of anger stir up those peccant humours 
in the body, which kindle and incresse wasting 
and killing diseases ; but meekness governs those 
humours, and so contributes very much to the 
good temper and constitution of the body. When 
Ahab was sick for Naboth's vineyard, meekness 
would soon have cured him. Moses, the meek- 
est of men, not only lived to be old, but was then 
free from the infirmities of age ; •* his eye was 
not dim, nor his natural force abated," Deut. 
xxxiv. 7* which may be very much imputed to his 
meekness as a means. The days of old age 
would not be such evil days, if old people did not, 
by their own forwardness and unquietness, make 
them worse than otherwise they would be. Un- 
governed anger inflames the natural heat, and so 
begets acute diseases, dries up the radical mois- 
ture, and so hastens chronical decays. The body 
is called the sheath or scabbard of the soul, 
Dan. vii. 15. marg. How often doth an envious 
fretful soul, like a sharp knife, cut its own sheath, 
and, as they say of the viper's brood, eat its own 
way out ? all which meekness happily prevents. 
The quietness of the spirit will help to cool 
distempered heats, to suppress melancholy va- 
pours ; and this, as other of wisdom's precepts, 
will be health to the navel, and marrow to the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 81 

bonfes; length of days and long life, and peace 
shall they add unto thee:" but "wrath kills the 
foolish man.'* 

2. It hath a good influence upon our wealth, 
the preservation and increase of it. As in king- 
doms, so in families and neighbourhoods, war be- 
gets poverty. Many a one hath brought a fair 
estate to ruin, by giving way to the efforts of an 
ungoverned anger, that barbarous idol, to which 
even the children's portions, and the family's 
maintenance, are oftentimes sacrificed. Conten- 
tion will as soon clothe a man with rags as sloth- 
fulness ; that therefore which keeps the peace> 
doth not a little befriend the plenty. It was A- 
braham's meek management of his quarrel with 
Lot, that secured both his own and his kinsman's 
possessions, which otherwise w^ould have been an 
easy prey to the Canaanite and the Perizzite that 
dwelt then in the land, Gen. xiii. 7, 8. And 
Isaac, whom I have sometimes thought to be the 
most quiet and calm of all the patriarchs, and 
that passed the days of his pilgrimage most si- 
lently, raised the greatest estate of any of them. 
Gen. xxvi. 13. ** He grew till he became very 
great." And his son Jacob lost nothing at the 
long run by his meek and quiet carriage towards 
his uncle Laban. Revenge is costly. Haman 
bid largely for it, no less than ten thousand tal- 
ents of silver, Est. iii. 9. It is better to forgive, 
and save the charges. Mr. Dodd used to say, 
* Love is better than law; for love is cheap, but 
law is chargeable.' Those tradesmen are com- 
16 L 



82 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

monly observed to thrive most that make the least 
noise, that with quietness work, and mind their 
own business, 2 Thess. iii. 1^. 

3. It hath a good influence upon our safety. 
In the day of the Lord's anger, the meek of the 
earth are most likely to be secured. "It may 
be you shall be hid," so runs the promise, Zeph. 
ii. 3. If any be, you shall ; you stand fairest for 
special protection. Meekness approacheth to 
that innocence which is commonly an effectual 
security against wrongs and injuries. However 
some base and servile spirits may insult over the 
tame and humble ; yet, with all persons of hon- 
our, it is confessedly a piece of cowardice to set 
upon an unarmed unresisting man, that resents 
not provocation. " Who is he that will harm you 
if you be followers of him that is good,*' in his 
goodness ? 1 Pet. iii. IS. Who draws his sword, 
or cocks his pistol, at the harmless silent lamb, 
while every one is ready to do it at the furious 
barking dog ? Thus doth the meek man escape 
many of those perplexing troubles, those woes, 
and sorrows, and wounds without cause, which 
he that is passionate, provoking, and revengeful, 
pulls upon his own head. " Wise men turn away 
wrath, but a fool's lips enter into contention, and 
his mouth calleth for strokes. It is an honour 
to a man to cease from strife; but every fool will 
be meddling to his own hurt." An instance of 
this I remember Mr. Baxter gives in his book of 
Obedient Patience, which was this : ** That once, 
going along London streets, a hectoring rude fel- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 83 

low justled him ; he went on his way, and took 
no notice of it : but the same man affronting the 
next he met in like manner, he drew his sword, 
and demanded satisfaction, and mischief was 
done." He that would sleep, both in a whole skin 
and in a whole conscience, must learn rather to 
forgive injuries, than to revenge them. The two 
goats that met upon the narrow bridge, (as it is 
in Luther's fable) were both in danger should 
they quarrel; but were both preserved by the con- 
descension of one, that lay down, and let the 
other go over him. It is the evil of passion, that 
it turns our friends into enemies ; but it is the ex- 
cellency of meekness, that it turns our enemies 
into friends, which is an effectual way of con- 
quering them. Saul, as inveterate an enemy as 
could be, was more than once melted by David's 
mildness and meekness, ** Is this thy voice, my 
son David?" saith he, 1 Sam. xxiv. 16. "I have 
sinned ; return, my son David," 1 Sam. xxvi. 21. 
And after that Saul persecuted him no more, 
chap, xxvii. 21. The change that Jacob's meek- 
ness made in Esau is no less observable; and 
(some think) is remarked as very strange and 
surprising, by an unusual pointing in the Hebrew 
text, upon Esau's kissing Jacob, Gen xxxiii. 4. 
a prick over every letter, to put the reader in 
mind to take special notice of it. In the ordi- 
nary dispensation of Providence, some tell us *, 
they have found it remarkably true, in times of 
public trouble and calamity, it hath commonly 

* Dr. Hammond, Pract. Cat, p. 117. 



84 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



fared best with the meek and quiet ; their lot 
hath been safe and easy, especially if compared 
with the contrary fate of the turbulent and sedi- 
tious. Whoso is wise, and observes those things, 
will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord 
to be quiet in the land, against whom we read 
indeed of plots laid, and deceitful matters devis- 
ed, Psalm XXXV. 20. — xxxvii. 12, 14.; but these, 
by a kind and over-ruling Providence, are ordi- 
narily baffled and made successless. Thus doth 
this grace of meekness carry its own recompense 
along with it, and in keeping this command- 
ment, as well as after keeping it, there is a great 
reward, Psal. xix. 11. 

4. Consider what a preparative it is for some- 
thing further. It is a very desirable thing to 
" stand complete in all the will of God," Col. iv. 
12. to be fitted and furnished foreverygood work, 
to be made ready, a people prepared for the Lord. 
A living principle of grace is the best preparation 
for the whole will of God. Grace is establishing 
to the heart, it is the root of the matter, and a 
good foundation for the time to come. This 
grace of meekness is particularly a good prepara- 
tion for what lies before us in this world. 

1. It makes us fit for any duty. It puts the 
soul in frame, and keeps it so for all religious ex- 
ercises. There was no noise of axes and ham- 
mers in the building of the temple. Those are 
most fit for temple service, that are most quiet 
and composed. The work of God is best done, 
when it is done without noise. Meekness quali- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. SS 

fies and disposes us to hear and receive the word. 
When malice and envy are laid aside, and we are 
like new-born babes for innocency and inofFen- 
siveness, then we are most fit to receive the sin- 
cere milk of the word, and are most likely to 
grow thereby, 1 Pet. ii. 1, 2. Meekness prepares 
the soil of the heart for the seed of the word, as 
the husbandman " opens and breaks the clods of 
his ground, and makes plain the face thereof,** 
and then " casts in the principal wheat, and the 
appointed barley,'* Isa. xxviii. ^4, 25. Christ's 
ministers are fishers of men ; but we seldom fish 
successfully in these troubled waters. The voice 
Eliphaz heard was ushered in with a profound 
silence. Job iv. 16. and in slumberings upon the 
bed, a quiet place and posture. " God openeth 
the ears of men and sealeth their instructions,** 
Job xxxiii. 15, l6. Prayer is another duty which 
meekness doth dispose us for the right and ac- 
ceptable performance of. We do not lift up pure 
hands in prayer, if they be not without wrath, 
1 Tim ii. 8. Prayers made in wrath, are written 
in gall, and can never be pleasing to, or prevail- 
ing with, the God of love and peace. Our rule 
is, " First go and be reconciled to thy brother, 
and then come and offer thy gift," Matth. v. ^3y 
24. And if we do not take this method, though 
we seek God in a due ordinance, we do not seek 
him in due order. 

The Lord's day is a day of rest, and none are 
fit for it but those that are in a quiet frame, whose 
souls are entered into that present sabbatism 



86 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

which the gospel hath provided for the people of 
God,' Heb. iv. 9. The Lord's supper is a gospel 
feast of unleavened bread, which must be kept, 
not with the old leaven of wrath, and malice, and 
wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of 
sincerity and truth *. 

f God made a gracious visit to Abraham, Gen. 
xiii. 14. after that Lot was separated from him, 
viz. after the strife between him and Lot was 
over, in which he had discovered so much mild- 
ness and humility. The more carefully we pre- 
serve the communion of saints, the fitter we are 
for communion with God. It is observable, 
that the sacrifices which God appointed under 
the law were not ravenous beasts, and birds of 
prey ; but calves, and kids, and lambs, and turtle- 
doves, and young pigeons, all of them emblems 
of meekness and gentleness, and inoflFensiveness ; 
for " with such sacrifice God is well pleased." 
This quietness of spirit contributes very much to 
the constant steadiness and regularity of a reli- 
gious conversation. Hot and eager spirits, that 
are ready to take fire at every thing, are usually 
very inconstant in their profession, and of great 
inconsistency with themselves, like a man in an 
ague fit, sometimes burning hot, and sometimes 
shivering for cold; or like those that gallop in 
the beginning of their journey, and tire before 
the end of it; whereas the meek and quiet Chris- 

* Quid est ad pacem Dei accedere sine pace ? ad remis- 
fiionem debitorum cum retentione? quomodo placabit pa- 
trem iratus fratrem, cum omDis ira ab initio interdicta sit 
nobit ? Tertul. de Orai, c, 10. 



I 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 87 

tian is still the same ; and, by keeping to a con- 
stant rate, rids ground. If you would have one 
foot of the compass go even round the circumfer- 
ence, you must be sure to keep the other fixed 
and quiet in the centre ; for " your strength is 
to sit still.'* 

2. It makes us fit for any relation which God 
in his providence may call us into. Those that 
are quiet themselves, cannot but be easy to all 
that are about them ; and the nearer any are to us 
in relation and converse, the more desirable it is 
we should be easy to them. Relations are various, 
as superiors, inferiors, and equals : he that is of a 
meek and quiet spirit, is cut out for any of them. 
Moses was forty years a courtier in Egypt, forty 
years a servant in Midian, and forty years a king 
in Jeshurun ; and his meekness qualified him for 
each of these posts, and still he held fast his in- 
tegrity. There are various duties requisite, ac- 
cording as the relation is, and various graces to 
be exercised ; but this of meekness is the golden 
thread that must run through all. If man be a 
social creature, the more he hath of humanity, 
the more fit he is for society. Meekness would 
greatly help to preserve the wisdom and due au* 
thority of superiors, the obedience and due sub- 
jection of inferiors, and the love and mutual kind- 
ness and serviceableness of equals. A calm and 
quiet spirit receives the comfort of the relation 
most thankfully, studies the duty of the relation 
most carefully, and bears the iriconveniency of 
the relation (for there is no unmixed comfort un- 



88 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

der the sun) most cheerfully and easily. I have 
heard of a married couple, who, though they were 
both naturally of a hot and hasty temper, yet liv- 
ed very comfortably in that relation, by observ- 
ing an agreement made between themselves. 
Never to be both angry together. An excellent 
law of meekness it is, which, if faithfully lived up 
to, would prevent many of those breaches among 
relations, which occasion so much guilt and grief, 
and are seldom healed without a scar. It was 
part of the good advice given by a pious and in- 
genious father to his children, lately entered into 
the conjugal relation ; 

*' Doth one speak fire ! t'other with water come ; 
** Is one provok'd ? be t'other soft or dumb." 

And thus one wise, both happy.- But where 
wrath and anger are indulged, all relations are 
embittered, those that should be helps meet, be- 
come as thorns in our eyes, and goads in our sides. 
" Two indeed are better than one," and yet it is 
better to ** dwell alone in the wilderness, than 
with a contentious and angry relation, who is like 
a continual dropping in a very rainy day," Prov. 
xxi. 19. — xxvii. 15. Some of the Hebrew critics 
have noted, that if }ou take away the fear of the 
Lord from husband and wife, there remains but 
fire, fire. It is so in other relations. 

3. It makes us fit for any condition, accord- 
ing as the wise God shall please to dispose of 
us. Those that through grace are enabled to 
compose and quiet themselves, are fit to live in 
this world, where we meet with so much every 



i 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 89 

day to discompose and disquiet us. In general, 
whether the outward condition be prosperous or 
adverse, whether the world smile or frown upon 
us, a meek and quiet spirit is neither lifted up 
with the one, nor cast down with the other, but 
still in the same poise j in prosperity, hu^mble 
and condescending, the estate rising, but the 
mind not rising with it; in adversity, encouraged 
and cheered up, ** cast down, but not in despair;" 
in both even, like a die, throw it which way 
you will, it lights on a square side. St^ Paul^ 
who had learned in every estate to be content^ 
satisfied within himself, " knew how to be abased, 
and knew how to abound; every where, and io 
all things, he was instructed both to be full and 
to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need," 
Philip, iv. 11, 12. Changes without, made none 
within. It is a temper which, as far as it hath 
the ascendant in the soul, makes every burden 
sit light, by bringing the mind to the condition, 
when the condition is not in every thing brought 
to the mind. Prosperity and adversity have 
each of them their particular temptation to pee- 
vishness and frowardness; the former, by making 
men imperious; the latter, by making men im- 
patient. Against the assaults of each of these 
temptations, the grace of meekness will stand 
upon the guard. Being to pass through thi& 
world ** by honour and dishonour, by evil report 
and good report;" that is, through a great variety> 
of conditions and treatments, we have need ofi 
that " long-suffering, and kindness, and love un- 
16 M 



^ A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

feigned, which will be the armour of righteous- 
ness on the right hand and on the left.** I re- 
fer to that scripture, 2 Cor. vi. 6, 7> 8. Meek- 
ness and quietness will fortify the soul on each 
hand, and suit it to the several entertainments 
which the world gives us. Like a skilful pilot, 
that, which point of the compass soever the wind 
blows from, will shift his sails accordingly ; and 
knows either how to get forward and weather 
his point with it, or, however, to lie by without 
damage. It is the continual easiness of a quiet 
temper, to make the best of that which is. /' 

4. It makes us fit for a day of persecution. If 
tribulation and affliction arise because of the 
word, (which is no foreign supposition), the 
meek and quiet spirit is armed for it, so as to 
preserve its peace and purity at such a time, 
which are our two great concernments, that we 
may neither torment ourselves with a base fear, 
nor pollute ourselves with a base compliance. 
We use to say, • We will give any thing for a 
quiet life;' I say, any thing for a quiet conscience, 
which will be best secured under the shield 
of a meek and quiet spirit, which doth not ren- 
der railing for railing, 1 Peter iii. 9. nor aggra- 
vate the threatened trouble, or represent it to 
itself in its most formidable colours, but has 
learned to put a but upon the power of the most 
enraged enemies; "they can but kill the bo- 
dy ;'* and to witness the most righteous tes- 
timony with meekness and fear, 1 Pet. iii. 15. 
like our Master, who, ** when he suflfered, threat- 



J 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 91 



t »»»%»»%%»% %%%r%%%»^%< %»»%%^ 



ened not, but committed himself to him that 
judgeth righteously," 1 Pet. ii. 23. Suffering 
saints (as the suffering Jesus) are compared to 
sheep (Isa. liii. 7* Rom, viii. 36,), as sheep dumb 
before the shearer, nay, dumb before the butcher. 
The meek and quiet Christian, if duly called to 
it, can tamely part, not only with the wool, but 
with the blood; not only with the estate, but 
with the life, and even then rejoice with joy 
unspeakable, and full of glory. Angry froward 
people, in a day of rebuke, are apt to pull crosses 
upon themselves by needless provocations,, or 
to murmur, and complain, and fly in the face 
of instruments, and give unbecoming language, 
contrary to the laws of our holy religion, and 
the example of our Master, and so do more 
hurt than good by their suffering. Whenever 
we have the honour to be persecuted for right- 
eousness* sake, our great care must be to glo- 
rify God, and to adorn our profession (which 
is done most effectually by meekness and mild- 
ness under the hardest censures, and the most 
cruel usage) : so manifesting that we are indeed 
under the power and influence of that holy re- 
ligion, which we think it worth our while to 
suffer for. I?/ 

5. It makes us fit for death and eternity. 
The grave is a quiet place; "there the wicked 
cease from troubling," Job iii. I7. ThosQ,that 
were most troublesome, are there bound to the 
peace; and "their hatred and envy (those great 
make-bates) are there perished," Eccl. ix. 6. 
Whether we will or not, in the grave we shall 



9S A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



*««^. 



''lie still atid be quiet," Job iii. 13. What a 
jgreat change then must it needs be to unquiet* 
ftngry, and litigious people? and what a mighty 
shock will that sudden forced rest give them, 
after such a violent rapid motion? It is there- 
fore our wisdom to compose ourselves for the 
grave, to prepare ourselves for it, by adapting 
and accommodating ourselves to that which is 
likely to be our long home. This is dying daily> 
quieting ourselves^ for death will shortly quiet 
us; 

in The meek and quiet soul is at death let into 
that rest which it hath been so much labouring 
after; and how welcome must that needs be?— * 
Thoughts of death and the grave are very agree* 
able to those who love to be quiet ; for then and 
there they shall " enter into peace and rest in 
their beds,*' Isa. Ivii, 2. 

-^^i After death we expect the judgment, than 
Urhich nothing is more dreadful to them that are 
contentious, Rom. ii. 8. The coming of the 
Master brings terror along with it, to those that 
smite their fellow-servants, Luke xii. 45, 46. 
But those that are meek and quiet, are likely to 
have their plea ready, their accounts stated, and 
whenever it comes it will be no surprise to them. 
To those whose moderation is known to all men, 
it wiH' be no ungrateful news to hear that the 
Lofd is at haiid, Philip, iv. 5. It is therefore 
presci-ibed, as that which ought to be our con- 
stant care, that whenever our Master comes, we 
may be found of him in peace, 2 Pet. iii. 14, i. e. 
in a peaceable temper. •* Blessed is that servant, 



I 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 93 

whom his Lord, when he comes, shall find in such 
a frame." " A good man (saith the late Arch- 
bishop Tillotson, in his preface to his book of fa- 
mily religion) would be loth to be taken out of the 
world, reeking hot, from a sharp contention with 
a perverse adversary, and not a little out of coun- 
tenance, to find himself in this temper translated 
into the calm and peaceable regions of the blessed, 
where nothing but perfect charity and good-will 
reigns for ever," Heaven, for certain, is a quiet 
place, and none are fit for it but quiet people. 
The heavenly Canaan, that land of peace, would 
be no heaven to those that delight in war : turbu- 
lent and unquiet people would be out of their 
element, like a fish upon dry ground-in thos^. 
calm regions. .>t> .ion *>tk 

J They are the sheep of Christ, such as are pa- 
tient and inoffensive, that are called to inherit 
the kingdom ; without are dogs that bite, and de^ 
vour. Rev. xxii. 15iiw vx! »' ^.>i::- . .'.lior, 

i»:rThey are the wings of a dove, not those of ai 
hawk or eagle, that David would fly upon to his 
desired rest, Psal. Iv. 6. 

Now put all this together, and then consider* 
whether there be not a real excellency in thr? 
meeknessand quietness of spirit, which doth high- 
ly recommend it to all that love either God or 
themselves, or have any sensible regard to their 
own comfort, either in this world, or in that to 
come. (JS^ni biuoiU 9w fefioiBtJfeq Seioriw lo 



94 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



CHAP. III. 

THE APPLICATION. 

And now, first, have we not reason to lament 
the want of the ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit among those that profess religion, and e- 
specially in our own bosoms ? l( this be Christi- 
anity, the Lord help us ! How little is there of 
the thing, even among those that make great 
pretensions to the name ? Surely, (as one said 
in another case, Aut hoc non evangelium, aut hi 
non evangelici ; either this is not gospel, or these 
are not gospel professors. And, oh ! how bare 
and uncomely doth profession appear for want 
of this adorning ! When the Israelites had stript 
themselves of their ornaments, to furnish up; a 
golden calf, it is said, they were " made naked to 
their shame,*' Exod. xxxii. 25. How naked are 
we (like Adam when he had sinned) for want of 
this ornament ? It is well if it were to the shame 
of true repentance; for there is reason enough 

for it. 

I am not teaching you to judge and censure 

others in this matter, there is but too much of 
that to be found among us ; we are quick sight- 
ed enough to spy faults in others, the transports 
of whose passions we should interpret favourably. 
But we have all cause, more or less, to condemn 
ourselves, and confess guilt in this matter. In 
many things we all offend, and perhaps in this. 



r 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 95 

as much as in any, coming short of the law of 
meekness and quietness. 

We are called Christians, and it is our privi- 
lege and honour that we are so. We name the 
name of the meek and lowly Jesus, but how few 
are actuated by his Spirit, or conformed to his ex- 
ample? It is a shame that any occasion should 
be given to charge it upon professors, who in 
other things are most strict and sober, that in this 
they are most faulty: and that many, who pre- 
tend to conscience and devotion, should indulge 
themselves in a peevish, froward, and morose 
temper and conversation, to the great reproach 
of that worthy name by which we are called. 
May we not say, as that Mahometan did, when a 
Christian prince had perfidiously broke his league 
with him, "O Jesus ! are these thy Christians?" 

It is the manifest design of our holy and ex- 
cellent religion, to smooth, and soften, and 
sweeten our tempers, and to work off the rug- 
gedness and unevenness of them. Is it not a 
wretched thing, therefore, that any, who profess 
it, should be soured, and embittered, and less 
conversable and fit for human society, than other 
people ? He was looked upon as a very good 
man in his day, and not without cause, who yet 
had such an unhappy temper, and was sometimes 
so transported with passion, that his friend would 
say of him, * He had grace enough for ten men, 
and yet not enough for himself.* All the dis- 
ciples of Jesus Christ, even those of the first 
three, do not know what manner of Spirit they 



96 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

are of, Luke ix. 35. So apt are we to deceive 
ourselves, especially when these exorbitances 
shroud themselves under the specious and plausi- 
ble pretence of zeal for God and religion. But 
yet the fault is not to be laid upon the profession, 
or the strictness and singularity of that in other 
things that are praise-worthy; nor may we think 
the worse of Christianity for any such blemishes. 
We know very well, that "the wisdom that is 
from above, is peaceable, and gentle, and easy to 
be entreated," and all that is sweet, and amiable, 
and endearing, though she is not herein justified 
of all that call themselves her children. But the 
blame must be laid upon the corruption and folly 
of the professors themselves, who are not so per- 
fectly delivered into the mould of Christianity as 
they should be; but neglect their ornament, and 
prostitute their honour, and suffer the authority 
of their graces to be trampled upon. They let fire 
go out of the rod of their branches, which devour 
their fruit 5 so that there is no meekness, as a 
strong roe, to be a sceptre to rule in the soul, which 
is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation ; 
(I refer to that complaint, Ezek. xix. 14.) some- 
thing resembling the woful degeneracy of the an- 
gels that sinned, of whom it is said, Jude 6. that 
they kept not suum pri?icipatum. So the vulgate : 
might it not be read, * the government of them- 
selves * ?' They lost the command they should 
havje had- over their inferior faculties, and suf- 

1^ .• ♦CuDWORTH. Intellect, Syst. p, S16. .,j, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 97 

fered them to get head. And is it not much 
like this, when those pretend to the dignity who 
have lost the dominion of a religious profession, 
having no rule over their own spirits ? 

And yet, blessed be God, even in this corrupt 
and degenerate world, there are many who ap- 
pear in the excellent ornament of a meek and 
quiet spirit ; and some, whose natural temper is 
hasty and choleric, as it is said Calvin's was, yet 
have been enabled, by the power of divine grace, 
to show, in a good conversation, their works with 
meekness and wisdom. It is not so impracticable, 
as some imagine, to subdue these passions, and 
to preserve the peace of the soul, even in a 
stormy day. 

But that we may each of us judge ourselves, 
and find matter for repentance herein, I shall only 
mention those instances of irregular deportment 
towards our particular relations, which evidence 
the want of meekness and quietness of spirit. 

1. Superiors are commonly very apt to chide, 
and that is for want of meekness. It is spoken 
to the praise of him, who is the great Ruler of 
this perverse and rebellious world, "that he will 
not always chide," Psal. ciii. 9. But how many 
little rulers are there of families and petty soci- 
ties, that herein are very unlike him, for they 
are always chiding? Upon every little default 
they are put into a flame, and transported beyond 
due bounds; easily provoked, either for no cause 
at all, or for very small cause ; greatly provoked, 
and very outrageous and unreasonable when they 
are provoked. Their carriage fiery and hasty, 
their language scurrilous and indecent, they care 
not what they say, nor what they do, nor who 

17 N 



98 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

they fall foul upon, such sons of Belial that a 
man cannot speak to them, 1 Sam. xxv. 17. One 
had as good meet a bear robbed of her whelps 
as meet them. Here wants meekness. Husbands 
should notbe bitter against their wives, Col .iii. 19. 
Parents should not provoke their children, Eph.vi. 
4. Masters must forbear threatening, Eph. vi. 9. 
These are the rules, but how few are ruled by 
them ? The undue and intemperate passion of 
superiors goes under the umbrage and excuse of 
necessary strictness, and the maintaining of au- 
thority, and the education and control of children 
and servants. But surely every little failure needs 
not be animadverted upon, but rather s'hould b^ 
passed by ; or if the fault must needs be reproved 
and corrected, may it not be done without such 
a heat? What needs so much noise and clamour, 
and all this ado ? Is this the pro<luct of a meek 
and quiet spirit? Is this the best badge of your 
authority you have put on ? And are these the 
ehsigns of your honour? Is there no other way of 
making your inferiors know their place, but by 
putting them among the dogs of your flock, and 
threatening them as such? Not that I am against 
government and good order in families, and such 
reproofs as are necessary to the support and pre- 
servation of that, and those so sharpened, as some 
tempers require and call for. But while you are 
governing others, pray learn to govern yourselves, 
and do not disorder your own souls, under pre- 
tence of keeping order in your families: for though 
you yourselves may not be aware of it, yet it is 
certain, that by those indications of your displea- 
sure, which transgress the laws of meekness, you 
do but render yourselves contemptible and ridi- 



4 



AhD QUIETNESS OF SPIRFT. 99 



'%%**%%»%*%**' 



. %■% wv^^^ v**^ %« 



culous, and rather prostitute than preserve your 
authority. Though your children dare not tell 
you so, yet perhaps they cannot but think that 
you are very unfit to command yourselves *. 
Time was when you were yourselves children, 
and scholars, and perhaps servants and apprenti- 
ces j and so, C^f you will but allow yourselves the 
liberty of reflection,) you cannot but know the 
heart of* an inferior, (Exod. xxiii, 9) ^"^ shoul4 
therefore treat those that are now under you, as 
you yourselves then wished to be treated. A 
due expression of displeasure, so much as is ne- 
cessary to the amendment of what is amiss, will 
very well consist with meekness and quietness. 
And your gravity and awful composedness there- 
in, will contribute v^ry much to the preserving 
of your authority, and will command respect 
abunds^ntly more than your noise and chiding. 
Masters of families, and masters of schools too, 
have need, in this matter, to behave themselves 
wisely, Ps. ci. 2, so as to avoid the two extremes, 
that of Eli's foolish indulgence on the one hand, 
1 Sam. ii. 23, 24, and that of SauPs brutish rage 
on the other hand, 1 Sam. xx. 30, 33, and for the 
hitting of this golden mean, "wisdom is profita- 
ble tp direct." 

^, Inferiors are commonly very apt to com- 
plain. If every thing be not just to their oiind, 
they are fretting and vexing, and their hearts are 
bpt within them ; they are uneasy in their place 
and station, finding fault with every thing that is 
said or done to them. Here wants a quiet spirit, 
which would reconcile us to the post we are in, 
and to all the difficulties of it, and would make 
* Nemo regere potest, nisi qui et rigi. — Seneca, 



i 



100 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

the best of the present state, though it be atten- 
ded with many inconveniencies. Those unquiet 
people, whom the apostle Jude, in his epistle, 
compares to ** raging waves of the sea, and wan- 
dering stars, ver. 13, were "murmurers and 
complainers," ver. 16. It is an instance of un- 
quietness to be ever and anon quarrelling with 
our allotment. Those wives wanted a meek and 
quiet spirit, that "covered the altar of the Lord . 
with tears,'* Mai. ii. 13. Not tears of repentance | 
for sin, but tears of vexation at the disappoint- 
ments they met with in their outward condition. 
Hannah's meekness and quietness was in some 
degree wanting, when she fretted, and wept, and 
would not eat, 1 Sara. i. 7 ; but prayer composed 
her spirit, and set her to rights, ver. 18, "her 
countenance was no more sad." It was the un- 
quietness of the spirit of the elder brother in the 
parable that quarrelled so unreasonably with the 
father, for receiving and entertaining the penitent 
prodigal, Luke xv. 19. For those that are given to 
be uneasy, will never want something or other 
to complain of. It is true, though not so readily 
apprehended, that the sullenness, and mur- 
muring, and silent fretting of children and ser- 
vants, is as great a transgression of the law of 
meekness, as the more open, noisy, and avowed 
passions of their parents and masters. We find 
the king's chamberlains " wroth with the king," 
Est. ii. 21. And Cain's quarrel with God him- 
self, for accepting of Abel, was interpreted anger 
at God, Gen. iv. 6. "Why art thou wroth, and 
why is thy countenance fallen ? The sour looks 
of inferiors are as certain an indication of anger 
resting in the bosom, as the big looks of superiors: 



/■' 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 101 

and how many such instances of discontent theer 
have been, especially under a continual cross, our 
own consciences may perhaps tell us. It is the 
want of meekness only, that makes those, whom 
Divine Providence hath put under the yoke, chil- 
dren of Belial, that is, impatient of the yoke. 

3, Equals are commonly very apt to clash and 
contend. It is for want of meekness that there 
are, in the church, so many pulpit and paper-quar- 
rels, such strifes of words and perverse disputing: 
that there are in the state such factions and par- 
ties, and between them such animosities and 
heart-burnings : that there are in neighbourhoods 
such strifes, and brawls, and vexatious law-suits; 
or such distances, and estrangements, and shy- 
ness one of another: that there are in families, 
envies and quarrels among the children and ser- 
vants, crossing and thwarting and finding fault 
one with another : and that brethren that dwell 
together, do not, as they should, ** dwell to- 
gether in unity." It is for want of meekness 
that we are so impatient of contradiction in our 
opinions, desires, and designs, that we must have 
our own saying, right or wrong, and every thing 
our own way : that we are so impatient of com- 
petitors, not enduring that any should stand in 
our light, or share in that work of honour which 
we would engross to ourselves : that we are so 
impatient of contempt, so quick in our apprehen- 
sion and resentment of the least slight affront: 
and so pregnant in our fancy of injuries, where 
really there is none, or none intended. They are 
not only loud and professed contentions, that evi- 
dence a want of meekness, but also those silent 
alienations in affection and conversation, which 



102 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

make a less noise ; little piques and prejudices 
conceived, which men are themselves so asham- 
ed of, that they will not own them ; these show 
the spirit disturbed, and wanting the ornament 
of meekness. In a word, the wilful doing any 
thing to disquiet others, slandering, backbiting, 
whispering, talebearing, or the like, is too plain 
an evidence that we are not ourselves rightly 
disposed to be quiet. 

And now, may we not all remember our faults 
this day ? and instead of condemning others, 
though ever so faulty, should we not each of us 
bewail it before the Lord, that we have been so 
little actuated by this excellent spirit, and repent 
of all that which we have at any time said or done 
contrary to the law of meekness, and from under 
the direction and influence of it ? Instead of 
going about to extenuate and excuse our sinful 
passions, let us rather aggravate them, and lay 
load upon ourselves for them : "So foolish have 
I been and ignorant, and so like a beast," as the 
Psalmist speaks, when he is recovering himself 
from an intemperate heat, Ps. Ixxiii. 22. Think 
how often we have appeared before God, and the 
world, without our ornament, without our livery^^ 
to our shame. God kept account of the par- 
ticular instances of the unquietness of Israel, 
•*They have tempted me," saith he, ^*now these 
ten times," Num. xiv. 22. Conscience is God's 
register, that records all our miscarriages ; even 
what we say and do in our haste is not so quick 
as to escape its observation : let us therefore be 
often opening that book now, for our conviction 
and humiliation, or else it will be opened shortly 
to our confusion and condemnation. **But if we 



I 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 103 

would judge ourselves, we should not be judged 
of the Lord." May we not all say, as Joseph's 
brethren did, (and perhaps some are, as they 
were, in a special manner called to say it, by 
humbling providences,) ** We are verily guilty 
concerning our brother?" Gen. xlii. ^1, Such 
a time, in such a company, upon such an occa- 
sion, I wanted meekness and was unquiet : my 
spirit was provoked, and I spake unadvisedly 
with my lips, and now I remember it against 
myself. Nay, have not I lived a life of unquiet- 
ness in the family, in the neighbourhood, always 
iti the fire of contention, as in my element, and 
breathing threatenings? And by so doing, have 
not I dishonoured my God, discredited my pro- 
fession, disturbed my soul, grieved the blessed 
Spirit, and been to many an occasion of sin ? 
And for all this, ought not I to be greatly hum- 
bled and ashamed ? Before we can put on the or- 
nament of a meek and quiet spirit, we must first 
wash in the laver of true repentance, not only 
for gross and open extravagancies of passion, but 
for all our neglects and omissions of the duties 
of meekness. 

Secondly^ Have we not reason to labour, and 
endeavour, since there is such a virtue, there is 
such a praise, to attain these things? should we 
not lay out ourselves to the utmost for this ** orna- 
ment of a meek and quiet spirit ?" For your di- 
rection in this endeavour, (if you be indeed will- 
ing to be directed,) I shall briefly lay before you: 

1. Some scripture precepts of meekness. 

S. Some patterns of it. 

3. Some particular instances in which we have 
special need of it. 



104f A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

4. Some good principles that we should abid 
by. And, 

5. Some good practices that we should abound 
in, in order to our growth in this grace of 
meekness. 

And in opening these things, we will endea- 
vour to keep close to the law and to the testi- 
mony. 

SECT. I. 

Some Scripture precepts of Meekness, 

If we lay the word of God before us for our 
rule, and will be ruled by it, we shall find the 
command of God making meekness and quiet- 
ness to be as much our duty, as it is our orna- 
ment. We are there told it is the will of God : 
1. That we ** must seek meekness." This com- 
mand we have, Zeph. ii. 3, and (which is especi- 
ally observable) it is directed to the meek of the 
earth: "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the 
earth; seek meekness." Though they were meek, 
and were pronounced so by him that searcheth 
the heart, yet they must seek meekness : which 
teacheth us, that those who have much of this 
grace, have still need of more, and must desire 
and endeavour after more * ; Si dia:isti, sufficity 
periisti. He that sits down content with the grace 
he hath, and is not pressing forward towards per- 
fection, and striving to grow in grace, to get the 
habits of it more strengthened and confirmed, and 
the actings of it more quickened and invigorated, 
it is to be feared, hath no true grace at all ; but 

* Futo multos potuisse ad sapientiam pervenire, nisi pu- 
t assent se pervenlsse — Sen. de Tranqu, 




AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. lOJ 

though he sits ever so high, and ever so easy in 
his own opinion, yet sits down short of heaven. 
Where there is life, one way or other there will 
be growth, till we come to the perfect man, Job 
xvii. 9. **He that hath clean hands shall be 
stronger and stronger." Paul was a man ^ of 
great attainments in grace, and yet we find him 
forgetting the things that are behind, and reach- 
ing forth to those that are before, Philip, iii. 13, 
14. Those who took joyfully the spoiling of their 
goods, are yet told that they had need of patience, 
Heb. X. 34, 36. Thus the meek of the earth (who 
being on the earth, are in a state of infirmity and 
imperfection, of trial and temptation) have still 
need of meekness : that is, they must learn to be 
yet more calm and composed, more steady and 
even, more regular in the government of their pas- 
sions, and in the management of their whole con- 
versation. They who have silenced all angry 
words, must learn to suppress the first risings and 
motions of angry thoughts. 

It is observable, when the meek of the earth are 
especially concerned to seek meekness, even then, 
when the " decree is ready to bring forth," ver. 
2, when the day ** of the Lord's anger hastens 
on," when the times are bad, and desolating judg- 
ments are breaking in, then we have occasion for 
all the meekness we have, and all we can get, and 
all little enough. Meekness towards God, the 
author, and towards men, the instruments of our 
trouble : meekness to bear the trial, and to bear 
our testimony in the trial. There is sometimes 
an hour of temptation," Rev. iii. 10, a critical 
day, when the exercise of meekness is the work 
of the day. Sometimes the children of men are 

17 o 



106 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



more than ordinary provoking, and then the chil- 
dren of God have more than ordinary need of 
meekness. When God is justly angry, and men 
are unjustly angry, when our mother's children 
are angry with us, and our Father angry too, there 
is anger enough stirring; and then, ** blessed are 
the meek," that are careful to keep possession of 
their souls, when they can keep possession of 
nothing else, whose hearts are fixed and quiet in 
shaking and unquiet times. 

Now the way prescribed for the attainment of 
meekness is to seek it. Ask it of God, pray for 
it; it is a fruit of the Spirit, it is given by the God 
of all grace, and to him we must go for it. It is 
a branch of that wisdom, which he that lacketh 
must ask of God, and it shall be given him, Jam, 
i. 5. The God we address, is called "The God 
of patience and consolation," Rom. xv. 5, and he 
is therefore the " God of consolation," because 
the ** God of patience" (for the more patient we 
are, the more we are comforted under our afflic- 
tions ;) and as such we must eye him, when we 
come to him for grace to make us like minded, 
J. e. meek and loving one towards another, which 
is the errand the apostle there comes upon to the 
throne of grace. God's people are, and should be, 
a generation of seekers, that covet the best gifts, 
and make their court to the best giver, who ne- 
ver said to the wrestling seed of Jacob, ** Seek in 
vain;" but hath given us an assurance firm enough 
for us to build upon, and rich enough for us to 
encourage ourselves with. **Seek, and ye shall 
find." What would we more ? Seek meekness, 
and ye shall find it. 

The promise annexed is very encouraging to 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 10? 

the meek of the earth that seek meekness: " It 
may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord'8 
anger. Though it be but a promise with an it 
may he^ yet it ministers abundance of com- 
fort. God's probabilities are better than the 
world's certainties ; and the meek ones of the 
earth, that hope in his mercy, and can venture 
their all upon an intimation of his good-will, shall 
find, to their comfort, that when God brings a 
flood upon the world of the ungodly, he hath an 
ark for all his Noahs, his resting quiet people, in 
which they shall be hid, it may be, from the ca- 
lamity itself, at least from the sting and malig- 
nity of it J hid (as Luther said) either in heaven, 
or under heaven, either in the possession, or un- 
der the protection of heaven. See Ps. xci. 1, S. 
2. We must " put on meekness." This pre- 
cept we have, Col. iii. 12, "Put on therefore 
(as the elect of God, holy and beloved) meek- 
ness." It is one of the members of the new man, 
which, according to the obligations we lie under 
from our baptism, we must put on. Put it on as 
armour, to keep provocations from the heart, and 
so to defend the vitals. They that have tried it, 
will say it is armour of proof; when your are put- 
ting on the whole armour of God, do not forget 
this. Put it on as attire, as your necessary cloth- 
ing, which you cannot go without ; look upon 
yourselves as ungirt, undressed, unblessed with- 
out it. Put it on as a livery garment, by which 
you may be known to be the disciples of the 
meek, and humble, and patient Jesus, and to be- 
long to that peaceable family. Put it on as an 
ornament, as a robe and a diadem, by which you 
may be both beautified and dignified in the eyes 



108 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

of others. Put it on as the "elect of God, holy 
and beloved*," because you are so in profession; 
and that you may approve yourselves so in truth 
and reality, be clothed with meekness, as the 
"elect of God," a choice people, a chosen people, 
whom God hath set apart for himself from the 
rest of the world, as holy, sanctified to God, sanc- 
tified by him. Study these graces which put 
such a lustre upon holiness, and recommend it to 
those that are without : " as beloved, beloved of 
God, beloved of man, beloved of your ministers; 
for love's sake put on meekness. What winning 
persuasive rhetoric is here ? enough, one would 
think, to smooth the roughest soul, and to soften 
and sweeten the most obdurate heart! Meek- 
ness is a grace of the Spirit's working, a garment 
of his preparing; but we must put it on, i. e. must 
lay our souls under the commanding power and 
influence of it. " Put it on," not as a loose outer 
garment to be put off in hot weather, but let 
it cleave to us as the girdle cleaves to a man's 
loins ; so put it on, as to reckon ourselves naked, 
to our shame, without it. 

3. We must " follow after meekness. — This 
precept we have, 1 Tim. vi. 11. Meekness is 
there put in opposition to those foolish and hurt- 
ful lusts that Timothy must flee from : "Thou, 
O man of God, flee these things; and follow after 
righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, 
meekness." See what good company it is ranked 
with. Every Christian is in a sense a "man of 
God," (though Timothy is called so as a minis- 
ter,) and those that belong to God are concern- 

• Aliter induuntur milites, aliter sacerdotes, ergo induite 
vobis convenientia vestimenta. — Aguin, in loc. 



i 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 109 

ed to be and do so as to recommend themselves 
to him, and his religion to the world ; therefore 
let the man of God follow after meekness. The 
occasions and provocations of anger often set 
our meekness at a distance from us, and we have 
it to seek when we have most need of it; but we 
must follow after it, and not be taken off from the 
pursuit, by any diversion whatsoever. While 
others are ingenious and industrious enough in 
following after malice and revenge, protecting 
and prosecuting angry designs, be you as wise 
and diligent to preserve the peace, both within 
doors and without. — Following meekness be- 
speaks a sincere desire, and a serious endeavour, 
to get the mastery of our passion, and to check, 
govern, and moderate all the motions of it. 
Though we cannot fully attain this mastery, yet 
we must follow after it, and aim at it. ** Follow 
meekness,*' that is, **as much as in you lies, live 
peaceably with all men, endeavouring to "keep 
the unity of the Spirit." We can but make one 
side of the bargain : if others will quarrel, yet let 
us be peaceable; if others will strike the fire, that 
is their fault; let not us be as tinder to it. 

We must "show all meekness unto all men." 
This is one of the subjects which Paul directs a 
young minister to preach upon. Tit. iii. 2, "Put 
them in mind to show all meekness." It is that 
which we have need to be often minded of. 
Meekness is there opposed to brawling and cla- 
mour, which is the fruit and product of our own 
anger, and the cause and provocation of the an- 
ger of others. Observe, it is all meekness that 
is here recommended to us — all kinds of meek- 
ness, bearing meekness, and forbearing meekness. 



110 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

qualifying meekness, and condescending meek- 
ness, forgiving meekness ; the meekness that en- 
dears our friends, and that which reconciles our 
enemies; the meekness of authority over inferiors; 
the meekness of obedience to superiors, and the 
meekness of wisdom towards all. All meekness, 
is meekness in all relations, in reference to all in- 
juries, all sorts of provocation, meekness in all the 
branches and instances of it. In this piece of our 
obedience we must be universal. Observe, fur- 
ther, we must not only have meekness, all meek- 
ness, but we must show it, by drawing out this 
grace into exercise, as there is occasion. In our 
words, in our looks, in our actions, in every thing 
that falls under the observation of men, we must 
manifest that we have indeed a regard to the law 
of meekness, and that we make conscience of 
what we say and do when we are provoked. We 
must not only have the law of love written in our 
hearts, but in our tongues too we must have the 
law of kindness, Prov. xxxi. 26. And thus the 
tree is known by its fruit. This light must shine, 
that others may see the good works of it, and 
hear the good words of it too, not to glorify us, 
but to glorify our Father, Matthew v. l6. We 
should study to appear in all our converse, so 
mild and gentle, and peaceable, that all who see 
us may witness for us that we are of the meek 
of the earth. We must not only be moderate, 
but let our "moderation be known,'* Phil. iv. 5, 
He that is in this respect a wise man, let him 
show it in the meekness of wisdom. Jam. iii. 13. 
What are good clothes worth, if they be not 
worn? Why hath the servant a fine livery given 
him, but to show it for the honour of his master 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. Ill 

and of the family he belongs to? How can we 
say we are meek if we do nor show it? The 
showing of our meekness will beautify our pro- 
fession, and will adorn the doctrine of God our 
Saviour, and may have a very good influence 
upon others, who cannot but be in love with 
such an excellent grace, when thus, like the oint- 
ment of the right hand, it bewrayeth itself, and 
the house is filled with the odour of it. Again, 
this meekness must be thus showed unto all men, 
to foes as well as friends, those without as those 
within, all that we have any thing to do with. 
We must show our meekness, not only to those 
above us, that we stand in awe of, but to those 
below us, that we have an authority over. The 
poor indeed useth entreaties, but whatever is the 
practice, it is not the privilege of the rich to an- 
swer roughly, Prov. xviii. 23. We must **show 
our meekness, not only to the good and gentle, 
but also to the froward, for this is thankworthy," 
1 Pet. ii. 18, 19. Our meekness must be as ex- 
tensive as our love, so exceeding broad is this 
commandment, "all meekness to all men." We 
must show this meekness most to those with 
whom we most converse. There are some, that 
when they are in company with strangers, ap- 
pear very mild and good-humoured, their be- 
haviour is plausible enough, and complaisant ; but 
in their families they are peevish, and froward, and 
ill-natured, and those about them scarcely know 
now to speak to them *. This shows that the fear 
of man gives greater check to their passions than 
the fear of God. Our rule is, to be meek to- 

* Habe tubi se etiam in private lare explicet magnus ani- 
mus.— Seneca. 



112 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

wards all, even to the brute creatures, over 
whom we are lords, but must not be tyrants. **A 
good man is merciful to his beast." 

Observe the reason which the apostle there 
gives, why we should show all meekness towards 
all men, "for we ourselves also were sometimes 
foolish t,'* Tit. iii. 3. Time was when perhaps we 
were as bad as the worst of them we are now an- 
gry at J and if now it be better with us, we are 
purely beholden to the free grace of God in 
Christ that made the difference ; and shall we be 
harsh to our brethren, who have found God so 
kind to us? Hath God forgiven us that great 
debt, and passed by so many wilful provocations, 
and shall we be extreme to mark what is done 
amiss against us, and make the worst of every slip 
and oversight ? The great gospel argument for 
mutual forbearance and forgiveness is, that "God, 
for Christ's sake, hath forgiven us," Col. iii. 13. 

It may be of use also, for the qualifying of our 
anger at our inferiors, to remember, not only our 
former sinfulness against God in our unconverted 
state, but our former infirmities in the age and 
state of inferiors. Were not we ourselves some- 
times foolish? Our children are careless, and 
playful, and froward, and scarcely governable ; 
and were not we ourselves so when we were of 
their age ? And if we have now put away chil- 
dish things, yet they have not. — Children may 
be brought up in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord without being provoked to wrath. 

5. We must ** study to be quiet," 1 Thess. iv. 
11, that is, study not to disturb others, nor to be 

* Haec et nos risimus aliquando, fiunt, non nascuntur 
C^ristiani.— Tektul, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 113 

ourselves disturbed by others. Those are quiet 
that are apt not either to give or take offence. 
Be ambitious of this as the greatest honour, to 
be quiet. The most of men are ambitious of the 
honour of great business, and power, and prefer- 
ment J they covet it, they court it, they compass 
sea and land to obtain it; but the ambition of a 
Christian should be carried out towards quiet- 
ness. We should reckon that the happiest post, 
and desire it accordingly, which lies most out of 
the road of provocation. I cannot avoid men- 
tioning, for the illustration of this, that most ex- 
cellent poem of my Lord Hale, (the sense of 
which is borrowed from a heathen :) 

** Let him that will ascend the tottering seat 
Of courtly grandeur, and become as great 
As are his mounting wishes : as for me, 
Let sweet repose and rest my portion be. 

■ Let my age 

Slide gently by, nor overthwart the stage 

Of public action, unheard, unseen, 

And unconcerned as if I ne'er had been.*' 

This is studying to be quiet. Subdue and 
keep under all those disorderly passions which 
tend to the muddying and clouding of the soul. 
Compose yourselves to this holy rest, put your- 
selves in a posture to invite this blessed sleep 
which God gives to his beloved. Take pains, as 
students in arts and sciences do, to understand 
the mystery of this grace. I call it a mystery, 
because St. Paul, so well versed in the deep things 
of God, speaks of this as a mystery, Phil, iv. 12, 
"I am instructed as in a mystery, both to be full 
and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer 
need ;" that is, in one word, to be quiet. To study 
the art of quietness, is to take pains with our- 
17 p 



114 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

selves, to work upon our own hearts the princi- 
ples, rules, and laws of meekness; and to furnish 
ourselves with such considerations as tend to the 
quieting of the spirit in the midst of the great- 
est provocations. Others are studying to dis- 
quiet us, the more need we have to study how to 
quiet ourselves, by a careful watching against all 
that which is ruffling and discomposing. Chris- 
tians should, above all studies, study to be quiet, 
and labour to be actuated by an even spirit under 
all the unevennesses of Providence, and remem- 
ber that one good word which Sir William Tem- 
ple tells u?, the then Prince of Orange (late King 
William) said he learned from the master of his 
ship, who, in a storm, was calling to the steersman 
with this word, * steady, steady:' let but the hand 
be steady, and the heart quiet, and then, though 
our passage be rough, we may make a shift to 
weather the point, and get safe to the harbour. 

SECT. II. 

Some Scripture patterns of Meekness and Quietness 
of Spirit. 
Good examples help very much to illustrate 
and enforce good rules, bringing them closer to 
particular cases, and showing them to be prac- 
ticable. Precedents are of great use in the law. 
If we would be found walking in the same spirit, 
and walking in the same steps, with those that 
are gone before us to glory, this is the spirit we 
must be actuated by, and these are the steps we 
must walk in: this is the way of good men, for 
wise men to walk in. Let us **go forth then by 
the footsteps of the flock, and set ourselves to 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 115 

follow them, who through faith and patience in- 
herit the promises.'* We are compassed about 
with a great cloud of witnesses, that will bear 
their testimony to the comfort of meekness, and 
upon trial recommend it to us. We shall single 
out only a few from the scriptures. 

1. Abraham was a pattern of meekness, and 
he was the father of the faithful. The apostle 
here, in the verse but one before the text, propos- 
eth Sarah for an example to women, particularly 
an example of meekness in an inferior relation. 
**She obeyed Abraham," and, in token of the 
respect due to a husband, " she called him lord." 
Now Abraham is a pattern of the same grace 
in a superior. He that was famous for faith, was 
famous for meekness : for the more we have of 
faith towards God, the more we shall have of 
meekness towards all men. How meek was 
Abraham when there happened a strife betwixt 
his herdsmen and Lot's, which, had it proceeded, 
might have been of ill consequence, for the Ca- 
naanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land ; 
but it was seasonably taken up by the prudence 
of Abraham, Genesis xiii. 8, "Let there be no 
strife, I pray thee." Though he might com- 
mand the peace, yet for love's sake he rather 
beseecheth. Every word hath an air of meek- 
ness, and a tendency to keep the peace. And 
when the expedient pitched upon, for the pre- 
vention of strife, was their parting from each 
other, though Lot was the junior, yet Abraham, 
for peace' sake, quitted his right, and gave Lot 
the choice, ver. 9 ; and the gracious visit which 
God gave him thereupon, ver. 14, was an abun- 
dant recompence for his mildness and condescen- 



f^ 



116 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

sion. Another instance of Abraham's meekness 
we have in his carriage towards Sarah, when she 
quarrelled with him so unreasonably about her 
maid, angry at that which she herself had the do- 
ing of. Gen. xiv. 5, 6, " My wrong be upon thee ; 
•^the Lord judge between me and thee." Abra- 
ham might soon have replied, you may even thank 
yourselfi it was your own contrivance ; but laying 
aside the present provocation, he abides by one 
of the original rules of the relation, " Behold thy 
maid is in thy hand.'* He did not answer passion 
with passion, that would have put all into a flame 
presently; but he answered passion with meekness, 
and so all was quiet. Another instance of Abra- 
ham's meekness we have in the transactions be- 
tween him and Abimelech, his neighbour. Gen. 
xxi. 24, 25. He first enters into a covenant of 
friendship with him, which was confirmed by an 
oath, and then not reproacheth him, but reprov- 
eth him for a wrong that his servants had done 
him about a well of water. Which gives us this 
rule of meekness. Not to break friendship for 
a small matter of difference : such and such oc- 
casions there are, which they that are disposed 
to it might quarrel about, but " what is that be- 
tween me and thee ?" If meekness rule, matters 
in variance may be fairly reasoned and adjusted 
without violation or infringement of friendship. 
This is the example of that great patriarch. The 
future happiness of the saints is represented as 
the bosom of Abraham, Luke xvi. 23, a quiet 
state. Those that hope to lie in the bosom of 
Abraham shortly, must tread in the steps of 
Abraham now, whose children we are, as long 
as we thus do well, and who (as Maimonides ex- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 117 



presseth it) ' is the father of all that are gathered 
under the wings of the divine Majesty.* 

2. Moses was a pattern of meekness, it was his 
master-grace, that in which, more than in any 
other, he excelled. This testimony the Holy 
Ghost gives of him. Num. xii. 3, ** That the man 
Moses was very meek*, above all the men which 
were upon the face of the earth.'* 

This character of him comes in there in a 
parenthesis (probably inserted by the same in- 
spired pen that wrote the last chapter of Deut- 
eronomy,) upon occasion of an affront he re- 
ceived from those of his own house ; which inti- 
mates, that his quiet and patient bearing of that, 
was, of all others, the greatest proof and instance 
of his meekness. Those can bear any provoca- 
tion, that can bear it from their near relations. 
The meekness of Moses, as the patience of Job, 
was tried on all hands. Armour of proof shall 
be sure to be shot at. It should seem that his 
wife was none of the best humoured women; for 
what a passion was she in about the circumcising 
of her son, when she reproached him as a bloody 
husband ; and we do not read of one word that 
he replied, but let her have her saying, Exod. iv. 
25, 26. When God was angry, and Zipporah 
angry, it was best for him to be quiet. The lot 
of his public work was cast ** in the provocation, 
in the day of temptation in the wilderness," Psal. 
xcv. 8. But as if all the mutinies of murmur- 
ing Israel were too little to try the meekness of 
Moses, his own brother and sister (and those of 

* Josephus, (Antiq. lib. iv. c. 8,) gives this character of 
Moses: *<A£fectU8 ita semper in protestate habuit, ut om- 
ninio illis carere videretur, et nomina tantum eorum ex his 
qux in aliis homiDibus conspicerent cognitia habere.^' 



118 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

no less a figure than Miriam the prophetess, and 
Aaron the saint of the Lord) pick a quarrel with 
him, speak against him, envy his honour, reproach 
his marriage, and are ready to head a rebellion 
against him. Numb. xii. 1, 2. God heard this, 
ver. 2, and was angry, ver. 9 ; but Moses, though 
he had reason enough to resent it heinously, was 
not at all moved by it, took no notice of it, made 
no complaint to God, no answer to them, and so 
little interested in the matter, that we do not find 
one word he said, till we find him, ver. 13, pray- 
ing so heartily for his provoking sister, who was 
then under the tokens of God's displeasure for 
the affront she gave him. The less a man strives 
for himself, the more is God engaged in honour 
and faithfulness to appear for him. When Christ 
said, "I seek not mine own glory," he presently 
added, "but there is one that seeketh and judg- 
eth.'* And it was upon this occasion that Moses 
obtained this good report, that **he was the meek- 
est of all the men on the earth. — No man could 
have given greater proofs of courage than Moses: 
(it is the learned Bishop Hall's remark, Contem. 
1. 6.) He slew the Egyptian, beat the Midianite 
shepherds, confronted Pharaoh in his own court, 
not fearing the wrath of the king. He durst 
look God in the face amidst all the terrors of 
Mount Sinai, and drew near to the thick dark- 
ness where God was j and yet that spirit, which 
made and knew his heart, saith, he was the meek- 
est and mildest man upon the earth. Mildness 
and fortitude may well lodge together in the same 
breast; which corrects the mistake of those that 
will allow none valiant but the fierce. 

The meekness of Moses qualified him to be 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 119 

a magistrate, especially to be king in Jeshurun, 
among a people so very provoking, that they gave 
him occasion to use all the meekness he had, and 
all little enough to bear their manners in the 
wilderness. When they murmured against him, 
quarrelled with him, arraigned his authority, and 
were sometimes ready to stone him ; he resented 
these provocations with very little of personal 
application or concern ; but instead of using his 
interest in heaven to summon plagues upon 
them, he made it his business to stand in the 
gap, and by his intercession for them, to turn 
away the wrath of God from them j and this not 
once nor twice, but many times. 

And yet we must observe, that though Moses 
was the meekest man in the world, yet when God's 
honour and glory were concerned, none more 
warm and zealous. Witness his resentment of the 
golden calf, when, in a holy indignation at that 
abominable iniquity, he deliberately broke the 
tables. And when Korah and his crew invaded 
the priest's office, Moses, in a pious wrath, said 
unto the Lord, *• Respect not thou their offering," 
Numb. xvi. 15. He that was a lamb in his own 
cause, was a lion in the cause of God. Anger at 
sin, as sin, is very well consistent with reigning 
meekness. Nor can it be forgotten, that though 
Moses was eminent for meekness, yet he once 
transgressed the laws of it 5 when he was old, and 
his spirits were provoked, he "spake unadvisedly 
with his lips, and it went ill with him for it," 
Psal. cvi. 3^, 33, which is written, not for imita- 
tion, but for admonition : not to justify our rash 
anger, but to engage us to stand upon our guard 
at all times against it, that he who " thinks he 



1^0 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

Stands, may take heed lest he fall ;" and that he 
who hath thus fallen, may not wonder if he come 
under the rebukes of Divine Providence for it 
in this world, as Moses did, and yet may not 
despair of being pardoned upon repentance. 

3. David was a pattern of meekness, and it is 
promised, Zech. xii. 8, "that the feeble shall 
be as David." In this, as in other instances, he 
was a man after God's own heart. When his own 
brother was so rough upon him without reason, 
1 Sam. xvii. 28, «« Why camest thou down 
hither, &c. how mild was his answer ? " What 
have I now done? Is there not a cause ?" ver. 29. 
When his enemies reproached him, he was not at 
all disturbed at it, Ps. xxxviii. 13. — " I, as a deaf 
man, heard not.** When Saul persecuted him 
with such an unwearied malice, he did not take 
the advantage, which Providence seemed to offer 
him more than once, to revenge and right him- 
self, but left it to God to do it for him. David's 
meek spirit concurred with the proverb of the 
ancients, ** Wickedness proceedeth from the 
wicked, but my hand shall not be upon him," 1 
Sam. xxiv. 13. When Nabal's churlishness pro- 
voked him, yet Abigail's prudence soon pacified 
him, and it pleased him to be pacified. When 
Shimei cursed him with a bitter curse *, in the 
day of his calamity, he resented not the offence, 
nor would hear any talk of punishing the offender. 
*«So let him curse ; let him alone, for the Lord 
hath bidden him," 2 Sam. xvi. 10, 12, quietly 
committing his cause to God, who judgeth right- 

* Non ergo movebatur convitiis David, cui abundabat 
bonorum operum conscientia ^ itaque is qui cito injuria 
movetur, facit se dignum contumeliae videri— Amb. de Qffic, 
lib. i. cap. 6. 



.^:fi.,* 



i 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRlt. 121 

eously, ver. 1^. And other instances there are 
in his story, which evidence the truth of what he 
said, Ps. cxxxi. 2. '* My soul is even like a weaned 
child." And yet David was a great soldier *, 
a man of celebrated courage, who slew a lion, 
and a bear, and a Philistine (as much a ravenous 
beast as either of them)j which shows that it was 
his wisdom and grace, and not his cowardice, 
that at other times made him so quiet. David 
was a man that met with very many disquieting 
and disturbing events in the several scenes of his 
life, through which, (though sometimes they ruf- 
fled him a little), yet, for the main, he preserved 
an admirable temper, and an evenness and com- 
posedness of mind, which was very exemplary. 
When, upon the surprise of a fright, he changed 
his behavior before Abimelech, and counter- 
feited that madness which angry people realize; 
yet his mind was so very quiet and undisturbed, 
that at that time he penned the Sith Psalm, in 
which not only the excellency of the matter, 
and the calmness of the expression, but the com- 
posure of it alphabetically (in the Hebrew) speaks 
him to be, even then, in a sedate frame, and to 
have very much the command of his own thoughts. 
As at another time, when his own followers spake 
of stoning him; though he could not still the tu- 
mult of his troops, he could those of his spirits; 
for then he "encouraged himself in the Lord his 
God," 1 Sam. xxx. 6. As to those prayers against 
his enemies, which we find in some of his Psalms, 
and which sometimes sound a little harsh, surely 

* David fuit fortis in praelio, mansuetus in imperio, patiens 
in convitio, ferre magis promptus qaam referre injurias. Amb. 
lib. ii. c. 17. 

17 Q 



M 



T2^ A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

they did not proceed from any such irregular ^.^^^ 
passion, as did in the least clash even with thefH 
evangelical laws of meekness. We cannot imag- 
ine, that one, who was so piously calm in his 
common conversation, should be sinfully hot in 
his devotion ; nor are they to be looked upon ^ 
as the private expressions of his own angry re-^ 
sentments, but as inspired predictions of God's 
judgments upon the public and obstinate ene- 
mies of Christ and his kingdom ; as appears by 
comparing Ps. Ixix. 22, ^23, with Rom. xi. 9, 10, 
and Psal. cix. 8, with Acts i. 20. Nor are they 
any more opposite to the spirit of the gospel, than 
the cries of the souls under the altar, Rev. vi. 10, 
or the triumphs of heaven and earth in the de- 
struction of Babylon, Rev. xix. 1, 2, 

4. St. Paul was a pattern of meekness. Though 
his natural temper seems to have been warm and 
eager, which made him eminently active and 
zealous ; yet that temper was so rectified and 
sanctified, that he was no less eminently meek : 
** He became all things to all men,*' 1 Cor. ix. 
19, &c. He studied to please all with whom he 
had to do, and to render himself easy to them 
** for their good to edification.'* How patiently 
did he bear the greatest injuries and indignities, 
not only from Jews and heathens, but from false 
brethren, that were so very industrious to abuse 
and undermine him ! How glad was he that 
Christ was preached, though out of envy and ill- 
will, by those that studied to add affliction to his 
bonds! In governing the church, he was not led 
by the sudden resolves of passion, but always 
deliberated calmly concerning the use of the rod 
of discipline when there was occasion for it ; 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 123 

I Cor. iv. 21. ** Shall I come to you with a rod, 
or in the spirit of meekness?" i, e. Shall I pro- 
ceed immediately to censures, or shall I not ra- 
ther continue the same gentle usage I have hith- 
erto treated you with, waiting still for your refor- 
mation? Herein the spirit of meekness appears 
more open and legible than in the use of the rod^ 
though that also is very well consistent with it. 

Many other patterns of meekness might be in- 
stanced in ; but the time would fail me to tell of 
Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph ; of Joshua, of Sam- 
uel also, and Job, Jeremiah, and all the prophets 
and apostles, martyrs and confessors, and emi- 
nent saints, who by meekness subdued (not king- 
doms, but) their own spirits, stopped the mouths 
(not of lions, but) of more fierce and formidable 
enemies ; quenched the violence (not of fire, but) 
of intemperate and more ungovernable passions j 
and so ** wrought righteousness, obtained promi- 
ses, escaped the edge of the sword, and out of 
weakness were made strong; and by all this 
** obtained a good report ;'' Heb. xi. 3^, ^3, 34, 
-^But, after all, 

d. Our Lord Jesus was the great pattern of 
meekness and quietness of spirit : all the rest had 
their spots, the fairest marbles had their flaws, 
but here is a copy without a blot. We must fol- 
low the rest no further than they were conform- 
able to this great original: "Be ye followers of 
me, saith Paul, 1 Cor. xi. 1, as I am of Christ." 
He fulfilled all righteousness, and was a complete 
exemplar of all that is holy, just, and good. But I 
think, in most, if not all, those places of scripture 
where he is particularly and expressly propounded 
to us for an example, it is to recommend to us 



* 



1^4 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 



some one or other of the duties of Christianity ; 
those, I mean, which tend to the sweetening of 
our converse one with another, and therefore 
**the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us/^ 
that he might teach us how to dwell together in 
unity. We must ** walk in love, as Christ loved 
us," Eph. v. 2; **forgive, as Christ forgave us," 
Col. iii. 13 ; ** please one another, for Christ pleas- 
ed not himself," Rom. xv. 2, 3 ; be ** charitable 
to the poor, for we know the grace of our Lord 
Jesus," 2 Cor. vii. 9; "wash one another's feet," 
ue, stoop to the meanest offices of love, for Christ 
did so, John xiii. 14«. Mat. xx. 27> ^8. *' Doing 
all with lowliness of mind, for it is the same mind 
that was in Christ Jesus," Phil. ii. 3, 5 ; and many 
such like ; but, above all, our Lord Jesus was an 
example of meekness. Moses had this grace as 
a servant, but Christ as a Son 5 he was anointed 
with it above measure. He is therefore called 
the Lamb of God, for his meekness, and patience, 
and inofFvnsiveness; and even in his exaltation he 
retains the same character. One of the elders 
told John (Rev. v. 5,) that the Lion of the tribe 
of Judah would open the sealed book. "And I 
beheld," saith John, ver. 6, "and lo 1 a Lamb." 
He that was a Lion for strength and courage, 
was a Lamb for mildness and gentleness : and if 
a Lion, yet, **the Lion of the tribe of Judah," 
which the dying patriarch describes to be a Lion 
"going up from the prey," and that is stooped 
down and couched, and not to be roused up," 
Gen. xlix. 9; which speaks the quietness and re- 
pose even of this Lion. If Christ be a lion, he is 
a lion resting. The devil is a lion roaring, 1 Pet. 
v. 8. But the adorations given to Christ by the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 1^5 

heavenly hosts, speak of him as the Lamb, Rev. v. 
8, 12, 13, ** Blessing and glory — to him that sits 
upon the throne." They do not say, and to the 
Lion of the tribe of Judah, but **to the Lamb." 
Though he hath a name given him above every 
name, yet he will be known by that name. Which 
speaks his meekness, as if this were to be his name 
forever, and this his memorial to all generations. 
As he that rides upon the heavens by his name 
Jah, is the Father of the fatherless, and the Judge 
of the widows," P^al. Ixviii. 4, 5. Christ rides 
prosperously, " because of meekness," Ps. xlv. 4. 

Now it is the character of all the saints, that 
they follow the Lamb, Rev. xiv. 4, as a Iamb they 
follow him in his meekness, and are therefore so 
oft called "the sheep of Christ. This is that 
part of his copy, which he expressly calls us to 
write after. Mat. xi. 29, ** Learn of me, for I am 
meek and lowly in heart." If the Master be 
mild, it ill becomes the servant to be froward. 
The apostle is speaking of Christ's meekness un- 
der his sufferings, when he saith, that **he left us 
an example that we should follow his steps, 1 Pet. 
iii. 2 1 . 

Let us observe particularly the meekness of 
our Lord Jesus, both towards his Father, and to- 
wards his friends, and towards his foes. In each 
of which he is an example to us. 

1. He was very meek toward God his Father, 
cheerfully submitting to his whole will, and stan- 
ding complete in it. In his commanding will, 
*' Lo, I come," (saith he) **I delight to do thy 
will." Though it enjoined him a very hard piece 
of service, yet it was his "meat and drink," John 
iv. 34, and ** he always did those things that 



1^6 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

pleased his Father," John viii. 29. So likewise in 
his disposing will he acquiesced from first to last. 
When he was entering on that sharp encounter, 
though sense startled at it, and said, " Father, if 
it be possible, let this cup pass from me;'* yet he 
soon submitted with a great deal of meekness, 
** Not as I will, but as thou wilt,** Matth. xxvi. 
S9, 42. Though it was a very bitter cup, yet 
his Father put it into his hand, and therefore 
he drank it without any struggle or reluctance, 
when it came to the setting to, reasoning him- 
self from that topic into this compliance, John 
xviii. 11, "The cup that my Father hath given 
me, shall I not drink it?'* And it comes in there 
as a reason why he would not have a sword drawn 
in his defence. 

^. He was very meek towards his friends that 
loved and followed him. With what remarkable 
instances of mildness, gentleness, and tenderness, 
did he train up his disciples? Though from first 
to last he was **a man of sorrows and acquainted 
with grief; and where the nature is corrupt, such 
are apt to be peevish and froward with those 
about them ; yet how meek and calm his carri^ 
age was towards them all along, we may see, 

(1.) In his bearing with their weaknesses and 
infirmities. After they had been long under the 
inspection and influence of such a teacher, and 
had all the advantages that men could have for 
getting acquaintance with the things of God; yet 
how weak and defective were they in knowledge, 
and gifts, and graces? How ignorant and forget- 
ful were they ? How slow of heart to understand 
and believe? And what blunders did they make? 
Dull scholars it should seem they were, and very 



n 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 1^7 

bad proficients. But their hearts being upright 
with him, he did not cast them off, nor turn them 
out of his school ; but made the best of them, rec^ 
tified their mistakes, instructed them in their duty, 
and the doctrine they were to preach, by precept 
upon precept, and line upon line, and taught 
them as they were able to bear it, as one that con^ 
sidered their frame, and could have compassion 
on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the 
way, Heb. v. 2. As long as he was with them, 
so long he suffered them, Mark ix. 19. This, as 
it is a great encouragement to Christian learners, 
so it is a great example to Christian teachers. 

(2.) In his forgiving and passing by their un- 
kindnesses and disrespects to himself. He was 
not extreme to mark, no, not what they did amiss 
of this kind. When they murmured at the cost 
that was bestowed upon him, and called it waste, 
and had indignation at it, he did not resent it as 
he might have done, nor seem to observe how 
much what they said reflected upon him ; nor did 
he condemn them any other way than by com^ 
mending the woman, Matt. xxvi. 8, 11. When 
Peter, and James, and John, the first three of his 
disciples, were with him in the garden, and very 
unseasonably slept while he was in his agony 
praying, so little concern did they seem to have 
for him, and such a grievous slight did they put 
upon him j yet observe how meekly he spoke to 
them, did not give them any hard language, but, 
"Could ye not watch with me one hour?'* And 
when they had not a word to say for themselves, 
so inexcusable was their fault, he had something 
to say for them, and instead of accusing them, 
he apologizeth for them, *< The Spirit indeed is 



-^v*^- 



128 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

willing, but the flesh is weak," Mat. xxvi. 40, 41. 
When Peter had denied him, and had cursed and 
sworn he did not know him, than which, besides 
the falsehood and perfidiousness of it, nothing 
could be more unkind, with what meekness did 
he bear it? It is not said, the Lord turned and 
frowned upon Peter, though he deserved to be 
frowned into hell, but the Lord turned and looked 
upon Peter," Luke xxii. 61, and that look recov- 
ered him into the way to heaven ; it was a kind 
look, and not an angry one. Some days after, 
when Christ and Peter met in Galilee, and had 
dined together in token of reconciliation, and 
some discourse passed between them, not a word 
was said of this matter. Christ did not upbraid 
him with his fault, nor chide him for it; nor did 
there appear any other fruit of the falling out of 
these lovers, but only the renewing of their love 
with greater endearments, John xvi. 15, l6, 17. 
Which teacheth us to forgive and forget the un- 
kindnesses of those that (we are satisfied) are for 
the main our true friends; and if any occasion of 
difference happen, to turn it into an occasion of 
confirming our love to them, as the apostle ex- 
presseth it, 2 Cor. ii. 8. 

(3.) He was very meek towards his enemies that 
hated and persecuted him. The whole story of 
his life is filled with instances of invincible meek- 
ness; while he "endured the contradiction of sin- 
ners against himself," which was a constant jar, 
yet he had a perpetual serenity and harmony 
within himself, and was never in the least dis- 
composed by it. When his preaching and mira- 
cles were cavilled at and reproached, and he him- 
self represented under the blackest characters, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 1^9 

not only as the drunkard's companion, but as the 
devil's confederate, with what a wonderful calm- 
ness did he bear it ! How mildly did he answer, 
with reason and tenderness, when he could have 
replied in thunder and lightning [ How well sa- 
tisfied, under all such invidious reflections, with 
this, that "wisdom is however justified of all her 
children ?" Mat. xi. 19. When some of his dis- 
ciples would have had fire from heaven upon 
those rude people that refused him entertain- 
ment in their town, he was so far from comply- 
ing with the motion, that he rebuked it, Luke 
ix. 55, * Ye know not what manner of spirit ye 
are of.' * This persuasion cometh not of him that 
calleth you,' Gal. v. 8. The design of Christ, and 
of his holy religion, is to shape men into a mild 
and merciful temper, and to make them sensibly 
tender of the lives and comforts even of their 
worst enemies. Christianity was intended to re- 
vive humanity, and to make those men, who had 
made themselves beasts. But our Lord Jesus 
did, in a more especial manner, evidence his 
meekness when he was in his last sufferings, that 
awful scene. Though he was the most innocent 
and the most excellent person that ever was, who 
by the doctrine he had preached, and the mir- 
acles he had wrought, had richly deserved all the 
honours and respects that the world could pay 
him, and infinitely more, and though the injuries 
he received were ingeniously and industriously 
contrived, to the highest degree of affiont and 
provocation, yet he bore all with an undisturbed 
meekness, and with that shield quenched all the 
fiery darts which his malicious enemies shot at 
him. 

18 R 



130 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

His meekness towards his enemies appeared, 
(1.) In what he said to them ; not one angry 
word in the midst of all the indignities they of- 
fered him. **When he was reviled, he reviled not 
again," i Pet. ii. 23. When he was buffeted, and 
spit upon, and abused, he took it all patiently. 
One would wonder at the gracious words which 
«ven then proceeded out of his mouth ; witness 
that mild reply to him that smote him, John xviii. 
■53. If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the 
-evil ; but if well, why smitest thou me ?** 
' (2.) In what he said to God for them ; 'Father, 
•forgive them,* — so giving an example of his own 
rule, Matt. v. 44^. •* Pray for them which despite- 
fully use you.'* Though he was then deeply en- 
gaged in the most solemn transaction that ever 
passed between heaven and earth ; though he 
had so much to do with God for himself and his 
friends, yet he did not forget to put up this 
prayer for his enemies. The mercy he begged 
of God for them was the greatest mercy, that 
which he was then dying to purchase and pro- 
cure> the pardon of their sins: not only, «* Father, 
spare them, or reprieve them,'* but, " Father, for- 
give them.** The excuse he pleaded for them was 
■the best their crime was capable of: **They know 
'not what they do." They did it ignorantly, Acts 
iii. 27. 1 Cop. ii. S. 1 Tim. i. I7. 
*^>iNow in all these things our Master hath left 
us an example. What is the practice of religion, 
but the imitation of God endeavoured by us? 
And what the principle of it, but the image of 
God renewed in us. We are bid to be followers 
45f God *'as dear children.** But this sets the 
copy we are to write after at a mighty distance, 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 131 

for God is in heaven and we are upon earth ; and 
therefore in the Lord Jesus Christ, God incar- 
nate, God in our nature, the copy is brought 
among us, and the transcribing of it, in soraq 
measure, appears more practicable. ** He that 
hath seen me (saith Christ), hath seen my Fa- 
ther," John xiv. 9. and so he that imitates Christ, 
imitates the Father. The religion which our 
Lord Jesus came into the world to establish, be- 
ing every way so well calculated for the peace and 
order of the world, and being designed to recover 
the lapsed souls of men from their degenerate 
state, and to sweeten their spirits and temper^ 
and so to befriend human society, and to make 
it some way conformable to the blessed society 
above ; he not only gave such precepts as were 
wonderfully fitted to this great end, but recom- 
mended them to the world by the loveliness and 
amiableness of his own example. Are we not call- 
ed Christians from Christ, whom we call Master 
and Lord? and shall we not endeavour to ac- 
commodate ourselves to him ? We profess to re- 
joice in him as our forerunner; and shall we not 
run after him ? To what purpose were we listed 
under his banner, but that we might follow him 
as our leader? We have all of us reason to say, 
that Jesus Christ is very meek, or else we, that 
have provoked him so much and so often, had 
been in hell long ago. We owe it to his meek- 
ness, to whom all judgment is committed, that we 
have not ere this been carried away with a swift 
destruction, and dealt with according to the de- 
sert of our sins, which, if duly considered, one 
would think, should tend greatly to the mollify- 
ing of us. The Apostle fetcheth an argument 



182 A DISGOUnSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

from that kindness and love to us which we our- 
selves have experienced, who were foolish and 
disobedient, to persuade us to ^* be gentle, and 
to show all meekness," Tit. iii. 2, 3, 4. and he 
beseecheth the Corinthians, by "the meekness 
and gentleness of Christ," as a thing very win- 
ning, and of dear and precious account, ^ Cor. 
X. 1. "Let the same mind therefore be in us," 
not only which was, but which, as we find to our 
comfort, " still is in Christ Jesus," Phil. ii. 5. 
That we may not forfeit our interest in his meek- 
ness, let us tread in the steps of it; and as ever 
we hope to be like him in glory hereafter, let us 
study to be like him in grace, in this grace now. 
It is a certain rule, by which we must all be tried 
shortly, " that if any man hath not the Spirit of 
Christ," (that is, if he be not spirited, in some 
measure, as Christ was spirited,) " he is none of 
his," Rom. viii. 9. And if we be not owned as 
his, we are undone for ever. 

SECT. III. 

Some particular instances, wherein the ea^ercise of 
Meekness is in a special manner required. 

The rule is general; we must "show all meek- 
ness." It will be of use to observe some special 
cases to which the scripture applies this general 
rule. 

1. We must give reproofs with meekness. It 
is the Apostle's direction, Gal. vi. 1. " If a 
man be overtaken in a fault," (i. e. if he be 
surprised by a temptation and overcome, as the 
best may be, if God leave them to themselves,) 
^^ ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 133 

the spirit of meekness," By the spiritual man, 
to whom he gives this rule, he means not min- 
isters only, as if none were spiritual but they, 
though they perhaps are chiefly intended, be- 
cause they are, as the prophet speaks, Isa. xxix. 
^l. ** reprovers in the gate," i. e, reprovers by 
office: yet doubtless it is a rule to private Chris- 
tians ; all that have opportunity must reprove, and 
all that reprove, must do it with meekness. ** Ye 
that are spiritual," if you would approve your- 
selves so indeed, actuated by the Holy Spirit, and 
minding the things of the Spirit, be careful in this 
matter. Especially let those that are Christians 
of the highest form, that excel in grace and ho- 
liness, and the best gifts, (such are called spiri- 
tual, in distinction from the babes in Christ, 1 Cor. 
iii. 1.) let them look upon themselves as obliged, 
in a more peculiar manner, to help others; for 
where God gives five talents, he expects the im- 
provement of five ; the strong must " bear the 
infirmities of the weak," Rom. xv. 1. Do you 
therefore *^ restore such an one," set him in joint 
again. The setting of a dislocated joint, or a bro- 
ken bone, is, for the present, painful to the pa- 
tient, but it must be done, and it is in order to 
the making of broken bones to rejoice. Now this 
you must do with the spirit of meekness, with all 
the candour and gentleness, and convincing evi- 
dences of love and kindness, that can be. The 
three qualifications of a good surgeon are very re- 
quisite in a reprover, viz. to have an eagle's eye, 
a lion's heart, and a lady's hand ; that is, that he 
be endued with a great deal of wisdom, and cou- 
rage, and meekness. Though sometimes it is 
needful to reprove with warmth, yet we must 



134- A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

never reprove with wrath ; " for the wrathTofman 
worketh not the righteousness of God/' James i, 
20. There is an observable difference, but no 
contradiction, betwixt the directions Paul gives 
to Timothy, and those he gives to Titus in this 
matter. To Titus he wrttes, to " reprove sharp- 
ly," Tit. i. 13, and to rebuke ** with all authori- 
ty,'*, chap, ii. ver. 15. To Timothy he writes, 
*' not to strive," but " to be gentle," 2 Tim. ii. 
S4, to reprove ''with all long-suffering," chap. iv. 
2. The reason of which may be taken either, 
£l.] From the different tempers of those he had 
to deal with. Timothy was among the Ephesians, 
a tractable complaisant people, that would be 
easily managed, and with them he must always 
deal gently. Titus was among the Cretians, that 
were headstrong and rough-hewn, and not to be 
wrought upon but by sharper methods. Thus, in 
reproving, a difference must be made: of some we 
must have compassion, and others save with fear, 
but never with anger, plucking them out of the 
fire, Jude ver. 23. Or, [2.] The reason may be 
taken (as Gregory, one of the ancients, assigneth 
it), from the different tempers of Timothy and 
Titus. Titus was a man of a very soft and mild 
temper, and he had need of a spur to quicken him 
to a needful acrimony in his reproofs; but Timo- 
thy was a man of a more warm and sanguine tem- 
per, and he had need of a bridle to keep him 
from an intemperate heat in his reproofs ; and 
then it teacheth us, that those who are naturally 
keen and fervent, should double their guard upon 
their own spirits when they are reproving, that 
they may do it with all meekness. Christ's min- 
isters must be careful, while they display God's 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 135 ^ 

wrath, to conceal their own ; and be very jealous 
over themselves, lest sinful anger shelter itself 
under the cloak of zeal against sin. When re- 
proving (whoever be the reprover), degenerates 
into railing and reviling, and opprobrious lan- 
guage, how can we expect tlie desired success ? It 
may provoke to contention and every evil work, 
but it will never provoke to love and to good 
works. The work of heaven is not likely to be 
done by a tongue set on fire of hell. Hath Christ 
need of madmen? or will you talk deceitfully and 
passionately for him ? A potion given too hot 
scalds the patient, and doth more hurt than good ; 
and so many a reproof, good for the matter of it, 
hath been spoiled by an irregular management. 
Meekness hides the lancet, gilds the pill, and 
makes it passable ; dips the nail in oil, and then 
it drives the better. Twice we find Jonathan re- 
proving his father for his rage against Davidj once 
he did it with meekness, and it sped well, 1 Sam. 
xix. 4, 5, " Let not the king sin against his ser- 
vant" (against David ;) and it is said, ver. 6, 
" Saul hearkened to him." But another time his 
spirit was provoked, and he did it in a heat, 
chap. XX. 32, "Wherefore shall he be slain?" 
and the isvsue of it was ill. Saul was not only im- 
patient of the reproof, but enraged at the re- 
prover, and cast a javelin at him, ver. 33, Re- 
proofs are then likely to answer the intention, 
when they manifestly evidence the good-will of 
the reprover, and are made up of soft words 
and hard arguments. This is to restore with the 
spirit of meekness; and there is a good reason 
added, " considering thyself:" ille Jiodie^ ego 
eras. Those who think they stand fast, know 



136 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

not how soon they may be shaken and over- 
thrown ; and therefore we must treat those, who 
are overtaken in a fault, with the same tender- 
ness and compassion that we would wish to find 
if it were our own case. 

2. We must receive reproofs with meekness* 
If we do that which deserves rebuke, and we 
meet with those that are so just and kind to give 
it us, we must be quiet under it, not quarrel- 
ling with the reprover, nor objecting against the 
reproof, nor fretting that we are touched in a 
sore place, but submit to it, and lay our souls 
under the conviction of it. If reproofs be phy* 
sic, it becomes us to be patient •. " Let the 
righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness, and 
an excellent oil," healing to the wounds of sin, 
and making the face to shine j and let us never 
reckon that it breaks the head, if it do but help 
to break the heart, Psa. cxli. 5. Meekness suf- 
fers the word of admonition, and takes it pa- 
tiently and thankfully, not only from the hand 
of God who sends it, but from the hand of our 
friend that brings it. We must not be like the 
reprobate Sodomites, Gen. xix. 9, or that pert 
Hebrew, Exod. ii. 14. that flew in the face of 
their reprovers, (though really they were the best 
friends they had), with ** Who made thee a 
judge?" but like David, who, when Abigail so 
prudently scotched the wheels of his passion, not 
only blessed God that sent her, and blessed her 
advice, but blessed her, 1 Sam. xxv. 82, 33, and 
ver. 35, not only hearkened to her voice, but ac- 
cepted her person. Though perhaps the re- 

* Neque ulli patientius rcprehenduntur, quam qui maxime 
laudari merentur. Plin. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. IS? 

prover supposes the fault greater than really it 
was, and though the reproof be not given with all 
the prudence in the world, yet meekness will 
teach us to accept it quietly, and to make the best 
use we can of it. Nay, if indeed we be altogether 
innocent of that which we are reproved for, yet 
the meekness of wisdom would teach us to apply 
the reproof to some other fault which our own 
consciences convict us of; we would not quarrel 
with a real intended kindness, though not done 
with ceremony, and though, in some circum- 
stances, mistaken or misplaced. 

You that are inferior relations, children, ser- 
vants, scholars, must, with all meekness and sub- 
mission, receive the reproofs of your parents, 
masters, and teachers ; their age supposeth them 
to have more understanding than you ; however 
their place gives them an authority over you, to 
which you are to pay a deference, and in which 
you are to acquiesce, else farewell to all order and 
peace in societies. The angel rebuked Hagar 
for flying from her mistress, though she dealt 
hardly with her, and obliged her to return and 
submit herself under her hands. Gen. xvi. 6, 9. 
** If the spirit of any ruler rise up against thee," 
and thou be chidden for a fault, "leave not thy 
place" as an inferior; " for yielding pacifies great 
offences done," and prevents the like, Eccles. x, 
4. " If thou hast thought evil, lay thy hand up- 
on thy mouth," to keep that evil thought from 
breaking out in any undue and unbecoming lan- 
guage, Prov. XXX. 32. Reproofs are then likely 
to do us good, when we meekly submit to them ; 
then are they ** as an ear-ring of gold, and an or- 
nament of fine gold, when an obedient ear is given 
18 s 



138 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

to a wise reprover," Prov. xxxv. 12. Nay, even 
superiors are to receive reproofs from their in- 
feriors with meekness, as they would any other 
token of kindness and good-will. Naaman, when 
he turned away from the prophet in a rage, yet 
hearkened to the reproof his own servants gave 
him, and was over-ruled by the reason of it, 2 
Kings V. 11, 13, 14, which was no more a dis- 
paragement to him, than it was to receive in- 
struction from his wife's maid, to whom to go for 
a cure of his leprosy, ver. 2, 3. Meekness teach- 
eth us, when a just reproof is given, to regard 
not so much who speaks, as what is spoken. 

3. We must instruct gainsayers with meek- 
ness, 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. It is prescribed to min- 
isters, that they "must not strive, but be gentle 
to all men, in meekness instructing those that 
oppose themselves." They serve the Prince of 
Peace, they preach the gospel of peace, they are 
the ambassadors of peace, and therefore must 
be sure to keep the peace. The apostles, those 
prime ministers of state in Christ's kingdom, 
were not military men, nor men of strife and noise, 
but fishermen, that follow their employment with 
quietness and silence. It is highly necessary that 
the guides of the church be strict governors of 
their own passion. "Learn of me (saith Christ,) 
for I am meek and lowly," and therefore fit to 
teach you, Mat. xi. 29. We must contend ear- 
nestly, but not angrily and passionately, no, not 
" for the faith once delivered to the saints, Jude 
ver. 3. Though we have ever so great an assur- 
ance that it is the cause of truth we are plead- 
ing, yet we must so manage our defence of it 
against those who gainsay, as to make it appear 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 139 

that it is not the confusion of the erroneous, 
but the confutation of the error, that we intend* 
This meekness would teach us not to prejudge 
a cause, nor to condemn an adversary unheard, 
but calmly to state matters in difference, as 
knowing that a truth well opened is half con- 
firmed. It would teach us not to aggravate mat- 
ters in dispute, nor to father upon an adversary 
all the absurd consequences which we think may 
be inferred from his opinion : it would teach us 
to judge charitably of those that differ from us, 
and to forbear all personal reflections in arguing 
with them. God's cause needs not the patron- 
age of our sinful heats and passions, which not 
only shatter the peace, but often give a mighty 
shock even to the truth itself we plead for. Meek- 
ness would prevent and cure that bigotry, which 
hath been so long the bane of the church, and 
contribute a great deal towards the advancement 
of that happy state, in which, notwithstanding 
little differences of apprehension and opinion, 
**the Lord shall be one, and his name one.** 
Public reformations are carried on with most 
credit and comfort, and are most likely to settle 
on lasting foundations, when meekness sits at the 
stern, and guides the motions of them. When 
Christ was purging the temple, though he was 
therein actuated by a zeal for God's house, that 
even ate him up, yet he did it with meekness and 
prudence ; which appeared in this instance, that 
when he drove out the sheep and oxen, which 
would easily be caught again, he said to them 
that sold doves,** Take these things hence," John 
ii. 16. He did not let loose the doves, and send 
them flying; for that would have been to the 



140 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

loss and prejudice of the owners. Anger, noisy, 
bitter arguings, ill become the assertors of that 
truth, which is great, and will prevail without 
all that ado. It was a very froward and per- 
verse generation our Lord Jesus lived in, and yet 
it is said, Matth. xii. 19, " He shall not strive, 
nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice in 
the street:'* though he could have broke them 
as easily as a bruised reed, and extinguished 
them as soon as one could quench the wick of 
a candle newly lighted, yet he would not do it, 
till the day comes, when he shall bring forth 
judgment unto victory. Moses dealt with a very 
obstinate and stiff-necked people, and yet my 
" doctrine (saith he) shall drop as the dew, and 
distil as the small rain," Deut. xxxii. ^. It was 
not the wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire 
that brought Elijah into temper (for the Lord 
was not in them,) but the still small voice did it ; 
when he heard that, he " wrapped his face in his 
mantle," I Kings xix. 11, 12, 13. In dealing 
with gainsayers, a spirit of meekness will teach 
us to consider their temper, education, custom, 
the power of prejudice they labour under, the in- 
fluence of others upon them, and to make allow- 
ances accordingly, and not to call (as passionate 
contenders are apt to do,) every false step an 
apostasy, every error and mistake, nay, every mis- 
construed misplaced word, a heresy ; and every 
misdemeanour, no less than treason and rebellion, 
methods of proceeding more likely to irritate and 
harden, than to convince and reduce gainsayers. 
I have heard it observed long since, that the 
scourge of the tongue hath driven many out of 
the temple, but never drove any into it. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. lil 

4. We must make profession of the " hope that 
is in us with meekness," 1 Pet. iii. 15. " Be 
ready always to give answer" (to make your de- 
fence or apology,) whether judicially or extra- 
judicially, as there is occasion, *'to every man 
that" (soberly, not scoffingly and in derision) 
** asks you a reason," or an account, '*of the 
hope that is in you," i, e, of the religion you pro- 
fess, which you hope to be saved by, with ''meek- 
ness and fear." Observe, it is very well consis- 
tent with Christian quietness, to appear in the de- 
fence of truth, and to avow our Christian profes- 
sion, when at any time we are duly called to it. 
That is not meekness, but base cowardice, that 
tamely betrays and delivers up any of Christ's 
truths or institutions by silence, as if we were 
ashamed or afraid to confess our Master. But 
the office of meekness, at such a time, is to direct 
us how and in what manner to bear our testi- 
mony, not with pride and passion, but with humi- 
lity and mildness. Those that would successfully 
confess the truth, must first learn to deny them- 
selves, and we must give an account of our hope 
with a holy fear of missing it in such a critical 
juncture. When we give a reason for our reli- 
gion, we must not boast of ourselves, or of our 
own attainments, nor reflect contempt and wrath 
upon our persecutors; but remember that the 
" present truth," (so it is called, 2 Pet. i. 12), the 
truth which is now to be asserted, is the same 
with *' the word of Christ's patience," Rev. iii, 
10. u e, the word which must be patiently suffered 
for, according to the example of him, who, with 
invincible meekness (before Pontius Pilate), wit- 
nessed a good confession, 1 Tim. vi. 1,3. A great 



142 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

abasement and diffidence of ourselves may very 
well consist with a firm assurance of the truth, 
and a profound veneration for it. 

In lesser things, wherein wise and good men 
are not all of one mind, meekness teacheth us not 
to be too confident that we are in the right, nor 
to censure and condemn those that differ from 
us, as if we were the people, and wisdom should 
die with us; but quietly to walk according to 
the light that God hath given us, and charitably 
to believe that others do so too, waiting till 
God shall reveal either this to them, (Phil, iii, 
15,) or that to us. Let it, in such cases, suffice 
to vindicate ourselves, which every man hath a 
right to do, without a magisterial sentencing of 
others. Why should we be many masters, when 
we are all offenders (Jam. ii. 1, 2.), and the bar 
is our place, not on the bench? Meekness will 
likewise teach us to manage a singular opinion, 
wherein we differ from others, with all possible 
deference to them, and suspicion of ourselves, 
not resenting it as an affront to be contradicted, 
but taking it as a kindness to be better informed. 
Nor must we be angry that our hope is inquired 
into; even such a trial of it, if we approve 
ourselves well in it, may be found to praise, 
and honour, and glory ; to which our meekness 
will very much contribute, as it puts a lustre 
upon, and a convincing power into, the testimony 
we bear. We then " walk worthy of the voca- 
tion wherewith we are called, when we walk in 
all lowliness and meekness/* Eph. iv. 1, 2. 

5. We must bear reproaches with meekness. 
Reproach is a branch of that persecution which 
all, that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must count 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 143 

upon ; and we must submit to it, behaving our- 
selves quietly, and with a due decorum, not only 
when princes sit and speak against us, but even 
when the abjects gather themselves together 
against us, and we become the song of the drunk- 
ards. Sometimes we find it easier to keep calm 
in a solemn and expected engagement, than in a 
sudden skirmish or a hasty rencounter; and there- 
fore, even against those slight attacks it is requi- 
site that meekness be set upon the guard. If we 
be nick-named, and slandered, and have all man- 
ner of evil said against us falsely, our rule is. Not 
to be disturbed at it, nor to render railing for rail- 
ing, 1 Pet. iii. 9. But though we may, as we have 
opportunity, with meekness, deny the charge, as 
Hannah did, when Eli over hastily censured her 
for a drunkard ; " No, my Lord, I have drunk 
neither wine nor strong drink,'* 1 Sam. i. 15, yet 
when that is done, we must, without meditating 
any revenge, quietly commit our cause to God, 
who will sooner or later clear up our innocency, 
as the light," which is promised, Psal, xxxvii, 5, 
6, and therefore ** fret not thyself, but wait pa- 
tiently," ver. 7, ** cease from anger, and forsake 
wrath," ver. 8. Mr. Dodd was wont to charm his 
friends into silence under reproaches, with this, 
" That if a dog bark at a sheep, the sheep will not 
bark at the dog again." We do but gratify our 
great adversary, and do his work for him, when 
we suffer the peace and serenity of our minds to 
be broken in upon by the reproaches of the world. 
For me to disquiet myself, and put myself into 
a passion because another abuseth me, is as if 
I should scratch up the skin of my face, to fetch 
off the dirt which my adversary throws on it. 



144^ A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

When reproaches provoke our passions, which 
put us upon rendering bitterness for bitterness, 
we thereby lose the comfort, and forfeit the hon- 
our and reward, which the divine promise hath 
annexed to the reproach of Christ; and shall we 
suffer so many things in vain. We likewise there- 
by give occasion to those, who had spoken evil 
of us falsely, to speak evil of us truly ; and per- 
haps our religion suffers more by our impatience 
under the reproach, than by the reproach itself. 
What have we the law, and pattern, and promise 
of Christ for, but to calm our spirits under re- 
proaches for well-doing? Truly those can bear 
but a little for Christ, that cannot bear a hard or 
a foul word for him. If we either faint or fret 
in such a day of adversity, it is a sign our strength 
is small indeed. May it not satisfy us, that by 
our meekness and quietness under reproaches, 
we engage God for us, who hath promised, that 
he will "with righteousness judge the poor," the 
poor in spirit, "and will reprove with equity for 
the meek of the earth ?" Is. xi. 3. He that hath 
bid us to "open our mouths for the dumb," 
Prov. xxxi. 8, will not himself be silent. Psalm 
xii. 5. And shall we not learn at last, instead 
of fretting and being exceeding angry, to rejoice 
and to be exceeding glad, Matt. v. 11, 12, when 
we suffer thus for righteousness sake? May we 
not put such reproaches as pearls in our crown, 
arid be assured that they will pass well in the ac- 
count another day, when there will be an advan- 
tageous resurrection of names, as well as bodies ? 
In the prospect of which we have reason to re- 
joice,* " That we are counted worthy to suffer 

♦ Dominus ipse raaledictus est, et tamen solus est benedic- 
tU8. — Tertul. de Patient, cap. 8. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 145 

shame for his name/' Acts v. 41. that we are hon- 
oured to be dishonoured for him, who, for our 
sakes, endured the cross, and despised the shame. 
It is one of the laws of meekness, Spernere se 
spemi, to despise being despised. 

SECT. IV. 

Some good principles or considerations^ which tend 
to make us Meek and Quiet, 

In order to the well-governing of the soul, the 
judgment must be furnished with proper dictates, 
else it will never be able to keep the peace in the 
affections: the motions of the soul are then likely 
to be even, and regular, and constant, when we 
have fixed to ourselves good principles, which we 
are governed by, and act under the influence of. 
There are some carnal corrupt principles, which 
angry froward people are guided by; such as 
these. That the forgiving one injury invites an- 
other, whereas it often qualifies an adversary ; 
or, if otherwise, the forgiving of one offence will 
enable us to bear the next more easily. And 
that we must have satisfaction given us for every 
wrong done us ; whereas, if we have not satisfac- 
tion for it, yet if it be not our own fault, we may 
have satisfaction under it, and that is as good. 
And that there is no living in the world without 
huffing, and hectoring, and frightening people; 
ederint dum metuant : whereas to live continually 
in that element, is to live in a hell upon earth ; 
mutual indignation and mutual fear perhaps con- 
tributing to the torments of devils and damned 
spirits. But in opposition to these, and the like 
ill principles, shall we treasure up these few good 
truths, chosen out of many which might be men- 

18 T 



H6 a discourse concerning meekness 

tioned, proper for this purpose, and make use of 
them as there is occasion ? 

1. That he hath the sweetest and surest peace 
who is the most master of his own passions. The 
comfort that a man hath in governing himself, is 
much greater than he could have in having peo- 
ple to serve him, and nations to bow down to him. 
It is certain, the worst enemies we have, if ever 
they break loose and get head, are in our bosoms. 
Enemies without threaten only the evil of pain; 
they can but kill the body, and no great hurt in 
that to a child of God, if they do not provoke 
the enemies within, our own irregular passions, 
which, if ihey be not kept under, plunge us in 
the evil of sin, and that is the much greater evil. 
An invasion from abroad doth not so much dis- 
turb the peace of a kingdom, as an insurrection 
at home doth; and therefore it concerns us to 
double our guard where our danger is greatest, 
and, above all keepings, to keep our hearts, that 
no passions be allowed to stir without a good rea- 
son to be given for it, and a good use to be made 
of it; and then if we be "troubled on every side, 
yet not distressed ; perplexed, yet not in despair," 
2 Cor. iv. 8, 9. offended by our fellow-servants, 
but not offending our Master ; reproached by our 
neighbours, but not by our own consciences : this 
is like Zion's peace, " peace within the walls," 
Ps. cxxii. 7. We have need to pray as one did. 
Libera me a malo isto homine, meipso; Lord, de- 
liver me from that ill man, mine own self, and then 
I am safe enough. The "lusts that war in our 
members," Jam. iv. 1. are the "enemies that war 
against our souls," 1 Pet. ii. 11. If this war be 
brought to a good issue, and those enemies sup- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 147 

pressed, whatever other disturbances are given, 
peace is in the soul, ** with grace and mercy froni 
God and from the Lord Jesus." Nehemiah was 
aware of this as the design of his enemies, when 
they hired a pretended prophet to give an alarm, 
and to advise him meanly to shift for himself; it 
was (saith he, Neh. vi. 13.) "that I should be 
afraid, and do so, and sin.'* Whatever we lose, 
we shall not lose our peace, if we do but keep our 
integrity ; therefore, instead of being solicitous 
to subdue our enemies that lay siege to us, let us 
double our watch against the traitors within the 
garrison, from whom especially our danger is : 
since we cannot prevent the shooting of the fiery 
darts, let us have our shield ready, wherewith to 
quench them. If we would not hurt ourselves, 
blessed be God, no enemy in the world can hurt 
us. Let us but keep the peace within, by the 
governing of our own passions, and then whatever 
assaults may be made upon us, we may therein, 
with the daughter of Zion, " despise them, and 
laugh them to scorn, and shake our head at 
them," [allud.] Is. xxxvii. 22. Let us believe, 
that in hurrying and disquieting times, "our 
strength is to sit still," in a holy quietness and 
composure of mind. " This is the rest wherewith 
you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the 
refreshing," and it is enough, Isa. xxxviii. 12. 

2. "That in many things we all offend." This 
truth we have. Jam. iii. 2. and it comes in as a rea- 
son why we must not be " many masters," ver. 1. 
It would help to subdue and moderate our anger 
at the oflPences of others, if we would but consider, 

(1.) That it is incident to human nature to of- 
fend. While we are in this world, we must not 



148 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

expect to converse with angels, or the spirits of 
just men made perfect; no, we are obliged to hold 
communication with creatures that are foolish 
and corrupt, peevish and provoking, and who are 
all subject to like passions; such as these we must 
live among, else we must needs go out of the 
world. And have we not reason, then, to count 
upon something or other uneasy and displeasing 
in all relations and conversations? The best 
men have their roughnesses and unevennesses in 
this imperfect state ; those that are savingly en- 
lightened, yet knowing but in part, have their 
blind side; the harmony, even of the communion 
of saints, will sometimes be disturbed with jaring 
strings ; why then should we be surprised into 
passion and disquiet, when that which gives us 
the disturbance is no more than what we looked 
for ? Instead of being angry, we should think 
with ourselves thus: Alas! what could I expect 
but provocation from corrupt and fallen man? 
Among such foolish creatures as we are, **it must 
needs be that offences will come;'^ and why 
should not I have my share of those offences ? 
The God of heaven gives this as a reason of his 
patience towards a provoking world, that it is in 
their nature to be provoking. Gen. viiL 21. "I 
will not again curse the ground any more for 
man's sake, for the imagination of man's heart is 
,€vil from his youth," and therefore better is not 
.to be expected from him. And upon this induce- 
ment he had compassion on Israel, Psal. Ixxviii. 
39' " For he remembered that they were but 
flesh :" not only frail creatures, but sinful, and 
bent to backslide. "Do men gather grapes of 
thorns ? 1 knew that thou wouldst deal treach- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 149 

erously, for thou wast called a transgressor from 
the womb," Is. xlviii. 8. and should not we, much 
more, be qualified by the same consideration? 
"If thou seest the violent perverting of judg- 
ment and justice in a province," remember what 
a provoking creature sinful man is, and then thou 
wilt not ** marvel at the matter," Eccl. v. 8. The 
consideration of the common infirmity and cor- 
ruption of mankind should be made use of, not 
to excuse our own faults to ourselves, which doth 
but take off the edge of our repentance, and is 
the poor subterfuge of a deceived heart; but to 
excuse the faults of others, and so take off the 
edge of our passion and displeasure, and preserve 
the meekness and quietness of our spirits. 

(2.) That it is incident to ourselves among the 
rest to offend. The apostle there puts himself into 
the number, *«we alj offend." We offend God, 
If we say we do not, we deceive ourselves ; and 
yet he bears with us from day to day, and is not 
extreme to mark what we do amiss; though our 
debts to him are talents, our brethren's to us but 
pence. Think then, if God shoifld be as angry with 
me for every provocation, as I am with those about 
me, what would become of me. They are careless 
in their observance, and perhaps wilful in their of- 
fence, and am not I so to God ; yea, am not I a 
thousand times worse ? Job qualified himself with 
this, when his servants were provoking, and he 
was tempted to be harsh with them, ** What then 
shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visit- 
eth, what shall I answer him ? Job xxxi. 13, 14, 

And are we not apt enough likewise to offend 
our brethren ? Either we have offended, or may 
offend ; so that we have need that others should 



150 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

bear* with us, and why then should not we bear 
with them ? Hanc veniam petimusque damusque 
viccissim. Our rule is, " What we would that men 
should do to us when we offend them, the same 
we should do to them when they offend us, for 
this is the law and the prophets," Matt. vii. 12. t 
Solomon appeals to our consciences herein, Eccl. 
vii. 22. For •* oftentimes also thine own heart" 
(which is instead of a thousand witnesses) ** know- 
eth that thou thyself likewise hath cursed others." 

The penitent remembrance of that former guilt 
would greatly help to curb the passionate resent- 
ment of the present trouble. When the unduti- 
ful and rebellious son (in a story that I once read) 
dragged his father by the hair of the head to the 
house-door, it qualified the anger of the old man, 
to remember, that just so far he had dragged his 
father : as it seems to have silenced Adonibezek, 
that he was now treated no otherwise than he 
had formerly treated others. Judges i. 7» 

2. That men "are God's hand :" so it is said, 
Psal. xvii. 14, " From men, which are thy hand, 
O Lord," or rather, tools in thy hand, so ver. 13. 
which are thy sword. We must abide by this 
principle, that whatever it is that crosseth us, or 
is displeasing to us, at any time, God hath an 
over-ruling hand in it. David was governed by 
this principle when he bore Shimei's spiteful re- 
proaches with such an invincible patience, " So 
let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto 
him. Curse David," 2 Sam.xvi. 10; and ver. 11, 
" Let him alone, for the Lord hath bidden him." 

* Patienter illatam injuriam toUerat, qui pie meminit quod 
fortasse ad hac habeat in quo debeat ipse tolerc. — Greg. M. 
in Job, 1. 5. c. 32. 

f Cogiiemur alios non facere injuriam, sed reponere. — Sen. 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT, 151 

This consideration will not only silence our mur- 
murings against God (the author), but all our 
quarrellings with men, (the instruments of our 
trouble and vexation). Men's reproaches are 
God's rebukes, and whoever he be that affronts 
me, I must see and say, that therein my Father 
corrects me. This quieted the spirit of Job, in 
reference to the injuries of the Chaldeans and 
Sabeans, though he dwelt as a king in the army, 
chap. xxix. 2.5, and his power and interest seem 
to have been unstained, when those barbarians 
first made that inroad upon him, and so he could 
not but see his help in the gate ; yet we find him 
not meditating any revenge, but charming the 
disturbances of his own soul, with the considera- 
tion of God's sovereign disposal, overlooking all 
the instruments of his trouble, thoughts of which 
would but have mingled anger (the more disquiet- 
ing passion) with his sorrow. This therefore suf- 
ficeth to still the storm, ** The Lord gave, and 
the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of 
the Lord," chap. i. 21. When his brethren stood 
aloof from him, his kindred and his friends looked 
scornfully upon him, as an alien, and instead of 
oil, poured vinegar into his wounds, so that his 
"eye continued in this provocation;" yet even in 
that part of his trouble he owns the hand of God, 
chap. xix. 13, " He hath put my brethren far 
from me." It is a very quieting truth, (the Lord 
help us to mix faith with it,) that every creature 
is that to us, and no more, that God makes it to 
be; and that while many seek the ruler's favour, 
and more perhaps fear the ruler's displeasure, 
"every man's judgment proceedeth from the 
Lord." Would we but more closely observe, and 



152 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

readily own, the hand of God in that which dis- 
quiets and provokes us, surely, though we regar- 
ded not raan, yet if we had any fear of God before 
our eyes, that would reconcile us better to it, and 
suppress all intemperate and undue resentments. 
In snarling at the stone, we reflect upon the hand 
that throws it, and lay ourselves under the wo 
pronounced against him ** that strives with his 
Maker," Is. xlv. 9. We know it is interpreted a 
taking up arms against the king, if we take up 
arms against any that are commissioned by him. 
4. That there is no provocation given us at any 
time, but, if it be skilfully and graciously inapro- 
ved, there is good to be gotten by it. If we have 
but that wisdom of the prudent, which is "to un- 
derstand his way," and all the advantages and 
opportunities of it, doubtless we may, quite con- 
trary to the intention of those that trespass 
against us, gain some spiritual, that is, some real 
benefit to our souls, by the injuries and offences 
that are done to us ; for even these are made to 
" work together for good to them that love God.'*^ 
This is a holy and a happy way of opposing our 
adversaries, and resisting evil. It is an ill weed 
indeed, out of which the spiritual bee cannot ex- 
tract something profitable, and for its purpose. 
Whatever lion roars against us, let us but go in 
the strength and spirit of the Lord, as Samson 
did, and we may not only " rend it as a kid," so 
that it shall do us no real harm, but we may withal 
get " meat out of the eater, and sweetness out of 
the strong." As it turns to the unspeakable pre- 
judice of many, that they look upon reproofs as 
reproaches, and treat them accordingly with an- 
ger and displeasure; so it would turn to our un- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 153 

speakable advantage, if we could but learn to call 
reproaches reproofs, and make use of them as such, 
for our conviction and humiliation ; and thus the 
reproach of Christ may become true riches to us, 
and greater than the treasures of Egypt. 

We are told of an imposthume that was cured 
with the thrust of an enemy's sword, and of one 
that was happily converted from drunkenness, by 
being called (in reproach) a tippler. It is very 
possible we may be enlightened, or humbled, or 
reformed, may be brought nearer to God, or 
weaned from the world, may be furnished with 
matter for repentance, or prayer, or praise, by the 
injuries that are done us, and may be much fur- 
thered in our way to heaven by that which was in- 
tended for an affront or provocation. This prin- 
ciple would put another aspect upon injuries and 
unkindnesses, and would quite alter the property 
of them, and teach us to call them by another 
name : whatever the subordinate instrument in- 
tended, it is likely "he meant not so, neither did 
his heart think so, Is. x. 7, but God designed it, 
as our other afflictions, to ** yield the peaceable 
fruit of righteousness ; so that instead of being 
angry at the man that meant us ill, we should ra- 
ther be thankful to the God that intended us 
good, and study to answer his intention. This 
kept Joseph in that good temper towards his 
brethren, though he had occasion enough to 
quarrel with them, Gen, 1. 20, ** You thought 
evil against me, but God meant it unto good." 
This satisfied Paul, in reference to the "thorn 
in the flesh,'* i, e, the calumnies and oppositions 
of the false apostles, which touched him more 
sensibly than all the efforts of persecuting rage j 

18 u 



154 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

that it was intended to hide pride from him, 
•*lest he should be exalted above measure with 
the abundance of revelations," 2 Cor. xii. 7, and 
there seems to be an instance of that good effect 
it had upon him, immediately upon the mention 
of it, for within a few lines after, he lets fall that 
humble word, ver. II, "I am nothing.'* We 
should be apt to think too highly of ourselves, and 
too kindly of the world, if we did not meet with 
some injuries and contempts, by which we are 
taught to cease from man. Did we but more 
carefully study the improvement of an injury, we 
should not be so apt to desire the revenge of it 
5. That what is said and done in haste, is likely 
to be matter for a deliberate repentance. We 
find David often remembering, with regret, what 
he said in his haste, particularly one angry word 
he had said in the day of his distress and trouble, 
which seemed to reflect upon Samuel, and in- 
deed upon all that had given him any encour- 
agement to hope for the kingdom, Ps. cxvi. 11, 
" I said in my haste. All men are liars;" and this 
hasty word was a grief to him long after. ** He 
that hasteth with his feet sinneth," Prov. xix. S, 
When a man is transported by passion into any 
indecency, we commonly qualify it with this, that 
he is a little hasty ; as if there were no harm in 
that ; but we see there is harm in it ; he that is in 
haste may contract much guilt in a little time. 
What we say and do unadvisedly when we are 
hot, we must unsay and undo again when we are 
cool, or do worse. Now, who would wilfully do 
that which, sooner or later, he must repent of? 
A heathen that was tempted to a chargeable sin, 
could resist the temptation with this considera- 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 15.5 

tion, that he would not buy repentance so dear. 
Is repentance such a pleasant word, that we 
should so industriously ** treasure up unto our- 
selves wrath against the day of wrath," either 
the day of God's wrath against us, or our own 
against ourselves? You little think what a tor- 
rent of self-affliction you let in, when you let 
the reins loose to an immoderate ungoverned 
passion. You are angry at others, and reproach 
them, and call them hard names, and are ready 
to abhor them, and to revenge yourselves upon 
them ; and your corrupt nature takes a strange 
kind of pleasure in this. But do you know, that 
all this will at last rebound in your own faces, 
and return into your own bosoms ? Either here, 
or in a worse place, you must repent of all this; 
that is, you must turn all these passions upon 
yourselves, you must be angry at yourselves, and 
reproach yourselves, and call yourselves fools, 
and abhor yourselves, and smite upon your own 
breasts ; nay, and if God give you grace, take a 
holy revenge upon yourselves; (which is reckoned 
among the products of godly sorrow, 2 Cor. vii. 
1 1.) And what can be more uneasy than all this? 
You take a mighty liberty in chiding those that 
you have under your power, and in giving them 
very ill-favoured language, because you know 
they dare not chide you again ; but does not your 
own hearts smite you, and your consciences chide 
you ? And is it not easier to bear the chidings 
of any man in the world, (which may either be 
avoided, or answered, or slighted), than to bear 
the reproaches of our own consciences, which, as 
we cannot get out of the hearing of, so we cannot 
make a light matter of? For when conscience 



156 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

is awake, it will be heard, and will tell us home, 
wherein ** we are verily guilty concerning our 
brother,** Gen. xlii. 21. Let this thought there- 
fore quiet our spirits when they begin to be tu- 
multuous, that thereby we shall but make work 
for repentance ; whereas, on the contrary, as Abi- 
gail suggested to David, 1 Sam. xxv. 30, 31, the 
bearing and forgiving of an injury will be no 
trouble or grief of mind afterwards. Let wisdom 
and grace therefore cool our heat, and take off 
the edge of our resentment. 

6. That that is truly best for us, which is 
most pleasing and acceptable to God, and that 
a meek and quiet spirit is so. No principle hath 
such a commanding influence upon the soul, as 
that which hath a regard to God, and wherein 
we approve ourselves to him. It was a good hint 
which the woman of Tekoah gave to David, when 
she was suing for a merciful sentence, 2 Sam. 
xiv. 11, ** I pray thee, let the king remember 

the Lord thy God.'* Nor could any thought 

be more mollifying than that. Remember how 
gracious, and merciful, and patient God is, how 
slow to anger, how ready to forgive, and how 
well pleased he is to see his people like him. Re^ 
member the eye of thy God upon thee, the love 
of thy God towards thee, and the glory of thy 
God set before thee. Remember how much it is 
thy concern to be accepted of God, and to walk 
worthy of thy relation to him unto all well pleas- 
ing, and how much meekness and quietness of 
spirit doth contribute to this, as it h consonant 
to that excellent religion which our Lord Jesus 
hath established, and as it renders the heart a fit 
habitation for the blessed Spirit. ** This is good 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT* 15? 

and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 
to lead quiet and peaceable lives,** 1 Tim. ii. 2, 
3. It is a good evidence of our reconciliation to 
God, if we be cordially reconciled to every cross; 
providence, which necessarily includes a meek 
behaviour towards those who are any ways instru- 
mental in the cross. Very excellently doth St. 
Austin express it (in Ps. cxxii.) Quis placet Deo 
cut Deus placuerit. Those please God, who are 
pleased with him and with all he doeth, whether 
immediately by his own hand, or mediately by the 
agency of provoking injurious men. This is stan- 
ding complete in all the will of God, not only his 
commanding, but his disposing will, saying it with- 
out reluctance, " The will of the Lord be done." 
He that acts from an honest principle of respect 
to God, and sincerely desires to stand right in his 
favour, cannot but be in some measure adorned 
with that meek and quiet spirit, which he knows 
to be in the sight of God of great price. 

Such as these are softening principles, and *• as 
many as walk according to these rules, peace 
shall be upon them, and mercy," and no doubt 
it shall be " upon the Israel of God/' 

SECT. V. 

Some rules of Direction, 

The laws of our holy religion are so far from 
clashing and interfering, that one Christian duty 
doth very much further and promote another; 
the fruits of the Spirit are like links in a chain, 
one draws on another. It is so in this; many 
other graces contribute to the ** ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit." 

You see how desirable the attainment is; will 



158 A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS 

you therefore, through desire, separate yourselves 
to the pursuit of it, and **seek and intermeddle 
with all wisdom. Pro. xviii. 1, and all little enough, 
that you may reach to the meekness of wisdom. 

1. Sit loose to the world, and to every thing 
in it. The more the world is crucified to us, the 
more our corrupt passions will be crucified in us. 
If we would keep calm and quiet, we must by 
faith live above the stormy region. It is certain, 
those that have any thing to do in the world can- 
not but meet with that every day, from those with 
whom they deal, which will cross and provoke 
them ; and if the affections be set upon these 
things, and we be filled with a prevailing concern 
about them, as the principal things, those crosses 
must needs pierce to the quick, and inflame the 
soul; and that which toucheth us in these things, 
toucheth us in the apple of our eye. 

2. Be often repenting of your sinful passion, 
and renewing your covenants against it. If our 
rash anger were more bitter to us in the reflection 
afterwards, we should not be so apt to relapse in- 
to it. Repentance in general, if it be sound and 
deep, and grounded in true contrition and humi- 
liation, is very meekening, and disposeth the soul 
to bear injuries with abundance of patience. 

3. Keep out of the way of provocation, and 
stand upon your guard against it. While we are 
so very apt to offend in this matter, we have need 
to pray, (and to practise accordingly), "Lord, 
lead us not into temptation." Those are ene- 
mies to themselves, and to their own peace, as 
well as to human society, that seek occasion of 
quarrel, that fish for provocations, and dig up 
mischief? but meek and quiet people will, on the 



AND QUIETNESS OF SPIRIT. 159 

contrary, studiously avoid even that which is just- 
ly provoking, and will see it as they saw it not. 
Those that would not be angry, must wink at 
that which would stir up anger, or put a favour- 
able construction upon it. The advice of the 
wise man is very good to the purpose, Eccl. vii. 
21, ** Also take no heed to all words that are 
spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee;" 
and it is better for thee not to hear it, unless 
thou couldst hear it patiently, and not be pro- 
voked to sin by the hearing of it. 

4. Learn to pause. It is a good rule, as in our 
communion with God, so in our converse with 
men, Eccl. v. 2, ** Be not rash with thy mouth, 
and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing.'* 
When we are provoked, delays may be as advan- 
tageous, as in other cases they are dangerous. 
*• The discretion of a man deferreth his anger," 
Prov. xix. 11. ** I would beat thee," said So- 
crates to his servant, **if I were not angry;" but 
*' he that is hasty of spirit," that joins in with his 
anger upon the first rise of it, ** exalteth folly," 
Prov. xiv. 29. The office of reason is to govern 
the passions, but then we must give it time to act, 
and not suffer the tongue to over-run it. 

5. Pray to God, by his Spirit to work in you 
this excellent grace of meekness and quietness 
of spirit. It is a part of that comeliness which 
he puts upon the soul, and he must be sought un- 
to for it. "If any man lack this meekness of wis- 
dom, let him ask it of God, who gives liberally, and 
doth not upbraid" us with our folly. When we be- 
gin atany timeto be froward and unquiet, we must 
lift up a prayer to him that stilleth the noise of the 
sea, for that grace which establisheth the heart. 



IGO A DISCOURSE CONCERNING MEEKNESS, &C. 



6. Be often examining your growth and pro- 
ficiency in this grace. Inquire what ground you 
have got of your passion, and what improvements 
you have made in meekness. Provocations re- 
cur every day, such as have been wont perhaps 
to put you into a passion, these give you an op- 
portunity to make the trial. 

7. Delight in the company of meek and quiet 
persons. Solomon prescribes it as a preservative 
against foolish passion, to " make no friendship 
with an angry man, lest thou learn his ways," 
Prov. xxii. 24, 25. When thy neighbour's heart 
is on fire, it is time to look to thy own. 

8. Study the cross of our Lord Jesus — Did we 
but know more of Jesus Christ, and him crucified, 
we should experience more of the fellowship of 
his suft'erings. Think often how and in what man- 
ner he suffered; see him **led as a lamb to the 
slaughter," and armyourselves with the same mind. 
Think also why and for what end he suffered, that 
you may not in any thing contradict the design 
of your dying Saviour, nor receive hisgracein vain. 

9. To conclude : 1 know no errand that I can 
come upon of this kind to you, in which methinks 
I should be more likely to prevail, than in this; 
so much doth meekness conduce to the comfort 
and repose of our own souls, and the making of 
our lives sweet and pleasant to us, ** If thou be 
wise herein, thou shalt be wise for thyself." 

FINIS. 



1 



MACKENZIE, PRINTER, GLASGOW. 



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